With featured guest

Benj Miller

Share on:

Benj Miller | The Remarkable Coach | Boxer Media

Benj Miller became an EOS expert and founded ninety.io as part of his own entrepreneurship journey.

In this episode of The Remarkable Coach Podcast, Micheal Pacheco and Benj (phonetic) discuss the evolution and pitfalls of EOS, leadership in SMBs, and the importance of two sides of the same business coin – system and soul.

A business needs both systems and “soul” to thrive sustainably, and Benj and his team know how to optimize both sides. Learn more in this episode!

A bit about Benj:

Business Coach, Entrepreneur, and Friend.

Where you can find Benj:




LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjmilleratl/







Where you can listen to this episode:


Share on:


Micheal Pacheco 0:00
All right. Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the remarkable coach podcast. I’m your host, Michael Pacheco. And today with me, I have binge Miller binge has a beautifully simple Bio Business Coach, entrepreneur and friend. That’s it. I love it. Binge welcome to the podcast, man.

Benj Miller 0:19
Thanks. It feels special to be now a remarkable coach. Yeah. And promotion. All right,

Micheal Pacheco 0:24
we’ll, we’ll mail you your certificate after the after the podcast. All right. Sweet man, I love to just open up this this pod by simply inviting our guests to tell us a little bit about yourself about your why and kind of talk a little bit about what got you into coaching?

Benj Miller 0:43
Yeah, well, I am an entrepreneur by wiring. So I accidentally started a bunch of companies and helped a bunch of other people start a bunch of companies. And when I got my act together and got a couple coaches, it greatly accelerated my journey as an entrepreneur, it allowed me to do like, learn from other people, instead of learning by my own mistakes over and over and over again, so that I was a big fan of that, and then got to become a coach of of my own. What drives me is I’ve really focused on small, medium sized business, SMB, my absolute sweet spot is kind of 25 to 75 employees, kind of in that stage two company, some of my clients are much larger. But I love the transition, helping a founder go from like having to know everything in the business, to having to lead a team of really strong leaders, and a senior leadership team. Like I love that I love the breakthrough for that person that gets to happen. But the reason that I love that segment of the market is because I think these are the best places in America to work. So the small businesses, to me are the lifeblood of our communities, they create the jobs, which those jobs give purpose, they feed families, it creates the philanthropy and creates the value creation for an entire community. And so if we can be part of that, and we can be part of accelerating the value creation, but also making those better places to work, I’m like that is the biggest win with ripples upon ripples upon ripples. And ultimately, it comes back to the dignity of every single person that we get to touch whether it’s a customer and employee, like we get to elevate the dignity and intrinsic worth of that human being. And that’s just cool.

Micheal Pacheco 2:40
I love that man. That resonates very, very strongly with me, because as a marketing agency owner, myself, that works with coaches, I’m not always able to directly affect or influence someone’s lives. So for us to like, it’s all about the second and third order effects, right? It’s about the customer that changed are the leaders that are becoming better leaders and their teams that are becoming better, right? All that second, third, fourth order effects. So that’s that totally resonates with me. Are you would you say are you more of like a business coach, you also talked a little bit about you know, leadership breakthroughs? Are you more of a business coach on like, maybe the ops side, or a leadership coach working with people? Or do you do both?

Benj Miller 3:24
Yeah, I only work with senior leadership teams, I want to empower them with some tools, principles, ways of thinking so that they can better affect their organization. But I don’t want them to rely on me. And I don’t want to be some outside guru that the organization looks to, but they really look to the senior leaders within their organization. So I am very consistent, I only do one thing I help organizations run on an operating framework called system and soul. And so as the name suggests, it’s got a lot of system to it. So you mentioned ops, that’s probably the system side. But then the soul side is about the people, the culture and the identity of the organization. And at the end of the day, becoming like world class problem solvers. We want to know how to elevate the people in our organization, help grow them. And so there’s there’s the soul peep soul side of the organization, but also the soul side of every individual within the organization, and how that actually intersects the operations of the business. These aren’t like two separate things. But the having a system makes the soul true, like we operationalize the culture that we intend to have and want to have as we scale. And at the same side, the soul makes the systems matter because there are plenty of really, really well run places that are awful to work at, right. So we’ve got to have like both of these things and they can actually elevate each other and that that makes it worthwhile to me.

Micheal Pacheco 5:01
All right. So you mentioned that is system and soul is kind of like an operating system is that just to give our listeners and viewers like some context? Is that similar to like EOS from Gino Wickman? Or is this something completely different? Is it something that you came up with yourself? Presumably?

Benj Miller 5:18
Yes, yes, yes. And yes. So my co founder and I were both implementers of Eos. He had been there 12 years I had been there, I’m not sure two or three. But before that, I found EOS in a company that I was, you know, leading, brought in and implemented fell in love. It gave me a language and a system to use in all of my other businesses. And then my co founder, and I started ninety.io, which is the software systems for companies running on EOS. We started traction bill, which was the podcast for companies running on Eos, we wrote the clarity Field Guide together, which was a field manual for how to have a and actually an experiential, like the back half is mostly a journal for how to have a great clarity guide, it’s got some questions and quotes in it, and helps you think about what season of life you’re in, what season of energy you’re in, and not fighting against that. But using that kind of like Taekwondo, you’re using the energy of the season, to get the most out of that, that clarity break. And then, you know, one of I was a very soulful leader. So like, in my businesses, I had the soul side. But it’s why I fell in love with with EOS is it brought the systems that I needed to not drive everyone in my own company crazy. And so putting, putting the system side together with what I had as a sole side was epic, it was awesome. It created a lot of breakthrough for me. But as an implementer of Eos, I realized that so many of these companies I was working with, they hadn’t really solidified the soul side, there’s always some elements of soul there, but they weren’t, they weren’t baked, they weren’t as intentional as they needed to be. So there just became a huge opera opportunity to create something that that really, truly integrated the two of those. And I was way more passionate about that. So me and my co founder, we, you know, launched on this system. And so adventure about a year ago, we rebuilt the software, because there just needs to be a central repository, you know, that people can access and, and collaborate on the types of things that we’re asking them to. We’ve we’ve ramped up 30, some coaches within our organization that we’ve certified, trained and certified couple around the world, mostly in the US. So we’re on a really fun trajectory of the movement that is system and soul.

Micheal Pacheco 7:41
Nice. So you’ve got software specifically for that.

Benj Miller 7:45
Yeah, it’s called as to sink. But yeah, it wouldn’t make sense to anybody listening unless they ran system and so on their business. But once once you know you’re getting on boarded, it really, really helps the whole team, it’s part of it’s the learning, like it’s all framed in the software. So you’re not, you’re being subtly trained, and how to do these things, just by the structure of the information, which we don’t think about often. But it’s a great opportunity that can be used in a lot of other use cases. And then, you know, we want to have the rest of the organization adopt it. So as the senior leadership team uses the software to cascade these ideas down the organization, they’ve got a framework right in front of them for like, Hey, this is what it looks like, this is how you do it. And so it’s a little more tactical versus just theoretical.

Micheal Pacheco 8:32
Nice. Very cool. So would you say, is it system insolvent? Would it be a replacement for something like us, or maybe an upgrade even right?

Benj Miller 8:42
We definitely joke about the upgrade a lot. You know, if you have an operating system that hasn’t been upgraded in 25 years, you might want to look into that. So we joke, we joke a lot about the upgrade, it’s you definitely would not want to use both that would you would confuse language, you would confuse some ideas because there are, you know, EOS did a great job packaging, some tried and trued principles that existed and some tools. And it worked great. And it really resonated kind of in a blue collar Boomer universe in the Midwest specifically. And you know, we’re we’re, I’m a different generation, we’re working with a different generation, our coaches are skewing a different generation. And so we’re really cognizant of the the high EQ leader and giving them tools to lead in the way that they know they should be. Very cool.

Micheal Pacheco 9:39
Very cool. You mentioned that you had more soul on your side of the business back in the day. What did that yeah, what did that look like? Like? What do you mean when you say that? Yeah,

Benj Miller 9:50
I mean, I always really, really cared like what it started with the identity of the organization and being really clear about who we were, who we were for why we mattered. I think with any identity conversation, those are the three questions whether it’s a business or your person. So then if we’re strong as a business, then we can ask each person, you know, who are you? Why do you matter? Who is your audience? And then we can find common purpose between those two, right? So like, how do you as a human fit within this organization that has a specific purpose, and now we’ve got an alignment of purpose to some degree, down to the human level of the organization. And then just like really, making it like, not fun, like, I mean, actually, I did have a climbing wall in my office at one point and a foam pit and a foosball table. So I’m like that cliche leader. The reality is, it was good for clients coming in, but nobody really used it. Because we were all hard at work, right? And there was like, a, I think I used it more than anybody, especially the climbing wall. But we did a lot of stuff together, like how do you how do you have? How do you celebrate together? What does it look like to grow together to push each other in and out? You know, for a while all the guys in the office were going to work out and it was optional. You know, we were trying not to break any, I don’t know, HIPAA laws or whatever else is telling us what to do these days. But you know, we would we would go work out together go on a run together, we, we would bring in an improv coach to work with us for communication and just laugh for three hours as a team, like, your face hurts because you’re laughing so hard. Right? But But how do you how do you care about the people that are taking care of the customers, right? Like, that’s, that was, that’s what went through my mind, I would want to spend my time on that, like the, the identity of the company, the identity of the people in there, the hearts of the people in there, the souls, the spirits, the physical being of the people in there, I would way rather spend my time on that than like, Let’s optimize the process for customer fulfillment. Like, I would rather I’d rather cook bacon with my shirt off and do that, like, that just doesn’t sound fun.

Micheal Pacheco 12:03
Nice. You have to cook bacon with your shirt off. I mean, if you’re baking the bake, and that’s one thing, but if you’re frying it up, that’s gonna burn like hell.

Benj Miller 12:13

Micheal Pacheco 12:15
I like that it’s almost an extension of the of the maxim like happy spouse, happy house. Oh, absolutely. For good. But for business, if you’re, if your employees are happy, and they’re loving what they’re doing that relationship, that energy is going to extend to your customers, to your clients, to your vendors, to everybody.

Benj Miller 12:36
Yeah, yeah, I’ll take that the spouse analogy one step further, I don’t, this was like the wisest piece of advice that I got, when I got married, I’ve been married for I think, 22 years. They said, they told me, the person that you’re going to be married to 10 years from now is going to be a result of what you’ve either built them up to be, or torn them down to be, which is a scary freaking thought, right. And if we take that, to your point, back to the employees, and especially right now, they there’s a good chance, they’re not going to be around 10 years from now. But, you know, I had I had an employee that hasn’t been with me for seven years, stop by my office and sit down and have coffee last week, right? So your your ability to either build up or tear down the employees that are in your care, you get to you get to build a story as a leader, right? And those people are, they’re going to be the ones that tell it, you’re going to tell your own story. I’m going to come on your podcast, Michael, and I’m going to make myself look good and sound good. And I do all the right things. But at the end of the day, what matters is the story that they all tell. And and they’re not all going to tell a picture perfect story. But I would love for you know, if we aggregated it, I’d love for it to be positive and they’re gonna be great, Deep Impact there. And that’s the soul. That’s the soulful leader. Like, you know, people say people above profits all the time. And I kind of roll my eyes because it’s like a cycle, right? The more profit we have, the more we can build into our people. And the more our people care about the profit, there is a virtuous cycle there. So I don’t mean to roll my eyes like it doesn’t matter and it’s wrong. But they go hand in hand and it’s kind of like the boat, the tide that rises all boats. If we care about the people and the profit, really cool things can happen.

Micheal Pacheco 14:33
Yeah, people before profit is a lazy platitude.

Benj Miller 14:39
Yeah, that’s a great way to say it. Right. It’s

Micheal Pacheco 14:40
just it’s just lazy thinking like it’s not just people before profits, it’s people and also profits and also people and also profit. Yes, cool. bins. What is What does a typical engagement with you look like?

Benj Miller 14:59
Um, It takes about three full session days. So like I said, I work with senior leadership team I come in, we do what we call a day one, where we are really focused on kind of the system side of what we do, learning some tools, implementing some tools, getting accustomed to how they work in the thinking behind them. And then we take about 30 days, and we come in for we call day 31, and 30, excuse me day 30, and 31. And on those two days, those are some of my phone my most fun days with a client, we’re filling out what we call, we call it the st roadmap as to meaning system install, but as soon as we fill it out for them, we changed the name. And it’s that, you know, Acme roadmap, it’s their roadmap, just like you’d have a roadmap for a piece of software. This is the roadmap for their organization. And some of it has to do with the milestones of of what you would, you know, build and release, right as software. But more of it has to do with kind of the Ethos Identity of who they are, where they’re going, why that matters. What’s the story, you know, talked about identity earlier, what’s the story that brings other people into it, we help them identify their hedgehog concept, which was made famous by Jim Collins, right, which is just like one of the best decision making filtering tools that a leadership team can have to stay focused on what you’re really about. So we fill all that roadmap out in his next two full session days. And then I show up once a quarter, and facilitate them figuring out you know, how did we do, we’ve always learned something new, then we look ahead at the next 90 days, figure out what our quarterly objectives are, what are the most important things that we want to celebrate having completed 90 days from now. And then we talk about the big opportunities that are a dressing you know, in front of them. You know, they can be small, they can be huge, but we want to get as many of those out of the way clear the path to have the best quarter ever.

Micheal Pacheco 17:02
Nice. Nice. You mentioned using the hedgehog concept as a decision making filter. Yeah, I like that. Can you talk a little bit more about that. And if you would briefly explain what the hedgehog concept is for our listeners and viewers that may not be familiar with Jim Collins work?

Benj Miller 17:19
Sure. So deep dive would be in chapter five of the book Good to Great by Jim Collins

Micheal Pacheco 17:24
knows the chapter. Ladies and gentlemen, he knows the chapter.

Benj Miller 17:27
Well, we’ve got to cite the source. I’m not the expert here. There’s also some really good quick YouTube videos on it from him. The story of the fox and the hedgehog actually is a fable from the 1800s. That was used as a metaphor in the chapter. And the idea is that companies that went from good to great, were not like the Clever Fox that came up with a new strategy or new idea or new tactic every day to eat the hedgehog. The hedgehog would win every day, because it only had to focus on one thing over and over and over for a hedgehog gets curling up in a little ball. For a company, it was made up of three things. So it’s what are you deeply passionate about as an organization? What can you be the best in the world at and what drives your economic engine? And if you think about those three things like a Venn diagram, then you would want to stay focused on what is right smack dab in the middle of all three of these things. We are deeply passionate about this, we can be the best in the world at it, and it has a way of driving our economic engine. So what is the thing you know, so we get an opportunity to let’s say, make an acquisition? Well, is is does it fit what we’re the best in the world at? Do we care about it? Are we passionate about this thing? And will this ultimately drive our economic engine of our business? And so most big and small opportunities that come up that, you know, we need to say yes or no to as leaders can be driven through that filter? Not all of them, right? But it’s a great starting point. Because if we can filter it and know the answer, yes or no, right there and stick to it, then we save a lot of horsepower.

Micheal Pacheco 19:11
Yeah, yeah. You’re just you’re focused on the one thing and every day over and over again, that’s it, and they get where do you get your clients? How do you get your clients? How do you market yourself?

Benj Miller 19:24
Um, well, I’m blessed enough at this point that I don’t have to I’ve got a pretty full book and my clients refer me to their friends. And so most of my clients are now friends of friends. It was not always like that the first year or two are hard. I had a decent network from the different businesses I had been in here in Atlanta over the last decade or so. You know, it’s always hard to start something new the first year it was slow and then kind of a snowball effect. after that. I have started becoming more active on LinkedIn. with sharing my thoughts I’m naturally an introvert. So I tend to keep all my thoughts to myself. I’m pretty good. You know, sitting here with you one on one, you asked me questions, I’m not without thought. So I can answer that. But putting myself out there is new. So I’ve engaged more on LinkedIn in the last couple of months. And I’ve actually enjoyed that. And I’ve also started what’s called the 261. So there’s 261 workdays in a business year. And so as leaders, we’ve constantly got this like running list of the things we’re supposed to remember the things that we’re supposed to do, that are maybe outside of our job normal like to do list jobs. So we organize those me and my team did. And so we have an email with one short thing every day to think about to do or to remember. So we’re it’s a, it’s a low lift every single day. But it’s kind of like that 1% idea if we get 1% bigger over time, it’s a it’s a massive exponential effect. So the 260 one.com it’s the word the and the numbers 261. That’s been a lot of fun. And I’ve actually, I don’t know how people are finding it. But that has been a way of growing. My audience for sure.

Micheal Pacheco 21:16
Nice. Yeah, actually, I was telling you before we hit record, I just signed up for it. And we’ll we’ll make sure and get that that link in the show notes as well. Yeah.

Benj Miller 21:24
And if you sign up, we’d love feedback, we get multiple pieces of feedback every day. It’s kind of fun. It’s very high engagement, mostly because we made it you know, you can read it in about 60 seconds or less. So you’re good.

Micheal Pacheco 21:39
Yeah, I like it. Yeah, no one wants to, we don’t need more three page newsletters.

Benj Miller 21:45
No, no, I know.

Micheal Pacheco 21:49
Vince, when you first started coaching, what sorts of things did you struggle with initially? And how did you overcome those?

Benj Miller 21:58
Yeah, the thing that I always struggle with is, I have a fine line distinction between a coach and a consultant. And I love being a coach. And I never want to be a consultant. And I think that the subtle difference is a consultants there to give you the answers. So I constantly want to take people back to my the framework, the tools, the thinking, even as a coach, you can you can reflect what you’re seeing in the room or ask a great question. There are definitely times that I’ve gotten myself in trouble by offering an idea, because I love ideas, and I can get sucked into the conversation as well. But usually when I do that, it backfires. Either I don’t have, I don’t have the full picture that they have, because I’m not in the business. So they’re all talking through something with assumed information that I don’t have. So just thinking that I can be clever and outsmart the room rarely works. Right. So that’s definitely something I’ve had to learn and refine. And okay, I do have an idea that could be helpful. How do I introduce that to the room in a way? That’s not suggesting that I have the answer, but maybe introducing some new way of thinking about the problem to begin with?

Micheal Pacheco 23:22
paradigm shift? Yeah, yeah. A reframing of something. Yeah,

Benj Miller 23:26
that’s it. Yeah. I think that that’s, I love. I love honing that craft growing that craft, I feel like it’s a craft like to be able to do that for a room.

Micheal Pacheco 23:36
And not just for a room, right? I mean, this is like, these are conversations that I have every day with my wife like just getting her to, you know, when she comes she comes to me, for example, with a question about her work, and just asking her the right question in the right way to get her to shift the frame a little bit. Yeah. It’s like, Oh, my God, you knew that you knew this?

Benj Miller 23:58
Yes, yes. I love those moments. And at the end of the day, I feel way better when I do that than when I do have the smart answer, right. So that’s always that’s always a tension, though. Not always attention, but it’s something that I’ve I’ve battled and grown and have a long way to go. But I love that journey. Because that’s a challenge. You know, that’s the engagement. I love that every single session day with a different group of senior leaders with different opportunities and issues hitting us in the face like I never know what I’m gonna get. So it feels like I get to go to work and have an audience that might throw a shoe at my face and I’m gonna have to dodge it and figure out what to do. And that that what keeps me from going like absolutely bored add you know, crazy

Micheal Pacheco 24:45
yeah, yeah, no, and I think you’re right to call it a craft man. I think as as a as a man with an ego that likes to fix things. You all come in hot with an answer every time then I’m like, the other part of me says most Do it down, think about how you can approach this in a better way. So that you know, you come to a better resolution for everybody, not just one that makes me feel good and builds me up.

Benj Miller 25:09
Yeah, there’s the old adage about teaching a man to fish versus giving them a fish. And I think I think in this case, you know, teaching them how to fish isn’t even teaching them how to answer the question. It’s teaching them how to think about the question that they’re trying to answer, which is, like, I don’t know how to use the metaphor to back it up one stage even more, but it’s not even, you know, just teaching them how to fish. It’s like, how do we think about fishing in this scenario, when that when the variables are like this? How do we how do we even approach something like because this is a mess, right? How do we get ourselves out of this mess? What how would we determine even getting a room to take a timeout and say, Hey, let’s not try and answer this for a second. Let’s talk about how we answer questions like this. So if we make it abstract, and they go, Oh, well, we have our roadmap. Oh, awesome. Let’s go back to that roadmap and see if there’s anything on our roadmap that actually informs this decision that we’re trying to make. That’s practice number one, but you get in the heat of something. It’s easy to forget about that. And just be so fixated on the the question, and the answer that you forget that you’ve already pre decided some things that could affect this. So that’s a discipline that, you know, I can get sucked into that too, like, I’m so sucked into their problems that I forget to go, Hey, timeout, how do we answer things like this, let’s back up. And that usually is a great moment as well.

Micheal Pacheco 26:42
Nice. Talk about some big wins that you’ve had in your in your coaching career.

Benj Miller 26:48
Um, you know, most of my big wins, I kind of mentioned this earlier about helping transition, maybe a founder into a true owner, operator, visionary of the organization, when there’s so much value in the early days of them doing, you know, they are the, usually the greatest mind and the greatest hands in the business. And so there is a sense of value that they’ve created upon themselves for doing those things, answering all the questions being the fixer being the answer, being the guy that brings the big deals, so trained, once they have to rely on a leadership team, there’s a bit of a void that gets created. They’re like, Well, what do I do? You know, what am I supposed to do? If every, if everybody’s doing their job? What am I what am I actually good for. And once they bridge the gap into that next season, most of the time, their impact and value creation is multiplied, if not exponential, because of the things that they can focus on that are actually in within their strengths. And the value they can really bring internally and externally to the organization. But that is a that’s a soul journey for that founder. And most of my wins have been helping, walking with people as they navigate that, and it takes it takes a good coach. But it also takes a good right hand man that that operator, the business is like, no, I got you all those things that you stay up worrying about at night. Not only am I going to worry about them for you, but I’m going to put systems in place and the right people in place so that nobody has to worry about them. They happen, right. So there’s a whole like maturity of the organization. That has to happen, but it has to happen at the rate of the maturity of those senior most people. And that that to me, those are the biggest wins. Because getting to the other side of that. I mean, I could talk about, I had a client that I was with about two and a half years when I started with them, they’re about 6 million in revenue. And there’s a good chance they will transact before the end of q3 for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. So do I take any of the credit for that? I don’t know. It was really fun to be along for the ride with them.

Micheal Pacheco 29:19
Except causation. You gotta at least take correlation.

Benj Miller 29:23
Yes, yeah, I’ll take I’ll take that. The question is, would it have happened without me and they’re really really smart people. So maybe, but it would have taken somebody like me in a in an operating framework, like system and soul for them to be able to mature as quickly as they have. So it’s really fun to get to be a part of that.

Micheal Pacheco 29:47
As you’re in your own words, kind of walking with them on this this journey through. I don’t know self discovery, the soul, right? What does that what does that look like? Like, on your end as a coach, like, do you have specific tactics, worksheets that you give them? Or are you playing it? Yeah, I’m assuming you’re not playing it by ear the whole time, right?

Benj Miller 30:10
This is part of Right. Right, right. Yeah. So our op, the way our operating framework works is, we get almost all of the fundamentals in those first three days. And then on the Quarterly, we are refining those. And so let’s take something obvious and easy like US company scoreboard, we’re going to have one at the end of day one. It’s gonna be awesome. Somewhere between 12 and 18 months, right. So there’s a maturing that happened, whatever. But then we have, as coaches, we have a giant box of exercises and tools that we can draw on. And it’s up to our expertise to know when the right time to bring those in. So I always do a pre call, you know, hey, you know, what do I need to know, to make your this session day like, bang in like the best value possibly could? And they’ll give me in some insights, what’s going on in the business or the people or whatever it looks like? And so I’ll shape that day around that feedback and bring in the tools and the exercises that can benefit them the most? Nice.

Micheal Pacheco 31:25
Are you typically hired? Are you hired by the company to work with leadership? Or does the leadership hire you directly? Or what does that look like? Usually,

Benj Miller 31:33
no, the company’s working with me because I only work with the senior leadership team. And it’s only it’s only collective, I’m not a one to one coach or leadership coach in the sense that I’m working. You know, if somebody needs me, between sessions, they’ll call and we’ll talk but rarely is that anyone is rarely is it more than once and rarely is it more than either the that visionary or that operator the business and But yeah, if they want one to one, or they want somebody to come and do workshops within their business, I usually refer that out,

Micheal Pacheco 32:08
you find that you’re ever stuck in a position of where you’ve got a conflict of interest, because the person who hired you right is, or the group that hired you is the group that you need to be brutally honest with.

Benj Miller 32:25
Yeah, that happens. It’s also it happens more than you would think, because so often, they are hiring somebody to come in and confront the things that they’re not willing to confront themselves, either in themselves or in somebody else in the room, or the organizational dynamics as a whole. So I don’t care who’s paying me my job is to be brutally honest, to help the organization win. And that can leave people feeling butthurt. Sometimes, I’m going to do it as gracefully as I can. But like you said earlier, people do have egos. And people do have feelings. And people have different levels of emotional health. And I try and be gentle. But we’re going to be firm. One of my you asked about wins there earlier. And I the first thought that went through my head is one of the organizations that I had, I wrote about this on LinkedIn. So what did I name him? Well, we’ll use names to protect the innocent, I think I named him Sam, but I don’t remember. We had an org chart that had one guy still reporting to the CEO. And it was we called it structural debt, right, the structure of the organization. And we hadn’t moved this one guy, because he had been there for a really long time. And, you know, he wasn’t hired to, to to report anybody but the CEO, and, you know, we weren’t sure how he was going to feel about it. And so I just stopped the room. I’m like, so let me be clear, Sam’s emotions are running the business. And the CEO just went ship. And that was one of my, you know, like, just that candid feedback of like, okay, that’s okay. And we decided to leave it that day, that day, wasn’t the day to change it. Sure. There. But the reality is like, that is the reality, right? So if we can, if we can deal with reality or know what reality is, then we can decide how to deal with it. Or maybe to say, hey, now Now’s not the time to deal with this, right? Well, we can, we would rather carry this structural debt into the future, because we’ve got bigger things that we need to focus on right now than that. That’s unacceptable. That’s it, just call it

Micheal Pacheco 34:41
calling, calling it calling it out. Becoming aware of it shining a spotlight on it, that at a bare minimum, that puts it in your back pocket, it puts it on the back burner. You’re thinking about it even if you’re not thinking about it, right. Your subconscious is processing that and at some point in the future when it’s time to circle back to that it’s going to be a little bit easier because it’s not going to come out of nowhere.

Benj Miller 35:06
Yeah. And we’re not justifying it. We’re calling it what it is. It’s not okay. But now’s not the time to fix it. Okay. That’s, you know, that’s why your leadership team, you get to decide that. Yeah,

Micheal Pacheco 35:20
nice. Let’s flip, let’s flip the wins upside down. If you would recall, a time or two where you’ve just failed on an epic level and learned a lot from it.

Benj Miller 35:32
Oh, my gosh, almost everyone ties back to what we were talking about earlier, where I think I have like some genius idea that they haven’t thought of in the room. And I throw it out there. And it just bombs like that is that is my go to failure. So I’m trying not to relive that one anymore. trying really hard to learn from that one. But but that’s absolutely it. And then there’s this is, how do I explain this? I always now assume that everybody in the room is dealing with something that I don’t know about that serious. Like, somebody’s mom just died. Like, if I treat everybody in the room, like they’re coming in here today, but their mom died last week. Like, hopefully, it’s a safe enough room, we always do a interpersonal check in at the beginning. But that stuff doesn’t always come out. But you know, I don’t know if it’s COVID. I don’t know if I don’t I don’t know what’s caused it. Maybe it’s always been the case. But there’s definitely a high norm number percentage of people that are dealing with something serious, serious stuff. There’s also a higher number. I don’t know if we’re allowed to talk about this, Michael, but, and maybe it’s generational of just people that are fragile, more fragile than, you know, I grew up in a working town, you know, baling hay in the summers as a teenager, you know, like, so.

Micheal Pacheco 37:06
I’m a gene extra that grew up on a farm. So I know, ya know, about antifragility.

Benj Miller 37:11
Yeah, it’s like some people are just fragile and can’t handle like Big Boy conversation. Yep. And so like, I will always ask like, Michael, are you open to having some tough feedback right now?

Micheal Pacheco 37:29
Ask permission before you step into the conference.

Benj Miller 37:31
Yeah, yeah. So lesson learned there, right. But and it’s really awkward for somebody to say no, in that moment, but they have to prepare and, you know, take a deep breath. And usually by asking that, they know it’s coming in love. Like, I genuinely want the best for you. And the company, there’s no you versus a company here or me. Like, I don’t have a dog in the fight. And so Mike, I’m not even trying to get to a specific outcome. But you know, are you open to having Are you open to some, some feedback that might feel harsh right now? Yeah, sure. Okay. So, yeah, there’s something about the tone has changed to where we’ve got to just be a little gentler, but some of that’s what’s hard, Michael, some of it’s the the fragility but some of its like, there is real serious stuff affecting people right now. Not always, always. So how do we be a little bit cognizant that we don’t have the whole picture and invite people into conversations?

Micheal Pacheco 38:40
Yeah, yeah. Cuz you never you never do have the whole picture, right? Someone, someone’s wife or husband may have just left them or something at home? Like yes, nobody knows.

Benj Miller 38:49
Yes. So you have to be alright, so you’ve mentioned your wife, your relationship, like three times today? Do we need to talk about that, Michael?

Micheal Pacheco 38:59
I don’t think so. We’re pretty good.

Benj Miller 39:01
Okay. Just checking on, you.

Micheal Pacheco 39:06
Know, yeah, that’s good. I was gonna say, two books that come to mind about these having difficult conversations. One of them is fierce conversations. Yep. They’re called Crucial Conversations. Yeah. Yeah. Those are both I would I would recommend those to anybody who is interested in this line of coaching.

Benj Miller 39:26
Yeah, absolutely. Or just leadership. I think maybe anybody that’s managing people should weigh into that. It’s, um, and probably adding to that kind of daring greatly in that same category. Easy. Yeah, I just had the conversation. It’s easy to go, Hey, we want to dare greatly and read the book and shake our head. Yes. And then something really hard comes up and we’re like, what do we do? Well, like you’ve got to go talk to the person and you got to you’ve got to tell what you just experienced, you don’t have to have an outcome in mind you don’t you know, it’s just like, hey, I need to I need I need to share this with you this sock.

Micheal Pacheco 40:10
Nice digging, man, is there anything else that that you would like to chat about that we haven’t touched on already?

Benj Miller 40:20
Man, I just I love that you’re, you know, rallying this community of coaches. And I think everything I think what every single coach has in common is that they’re trying to help people. And they’ve all got their bent or their different way. But you know, if you’re out there and you resonate with, with the market that we’re trying to serve and how we’re going about it with system and so I would love to chat with with you is you know, if there’s, there’s a place for you within our system and soul community because as a coach, it can be really hard to one of the challenges of being a coach, even if you’ve got a great tool or a great bank of exercise, whatever, to have a one a package product that you go in with that then you can layer on top, your expertise and your other you know, certifications of all the things that you’re brilliant at is really helpful from a sales perspective of both business development, but really communicating what you do and the value you bring. And the results from that because you have a proven methodology and a proven process. So if anything resonates with anybody listening, I’d love to share with them have a one to one they can hit me on LinkedIn and we’ll have a conversation. I love it.

Micheal Pacheco 41:38
I love it. Binge Miller, that’s b n j m i l l e r.com. There’s also the 261 dot com. We’ll get those links in the show notes. Page, man, it’s been a been a pleasure chatting with you. I appreciate your taking the time to hang out with us.

Benj Miller 41:56
Thanks for having me.

Micheal Pacheco 41:58
Cheers, brother. Take care. And thank you to all our viewers and listeners. We’ll see you guys next time.

Think you'd be a great fit for the podcast?

Apply now to be our next guest!

Check Out Boxer Services

Be different

Enhance Your Brand

Most coaches struggle to explain what differentiates them from the next guy, let alone why your hot new prospect should pay you $10k more than your competitor who is seriously undercutting you.
Establish Your Authority

Establish Your Authority

Social Omnipresence allows you to meet your ideal prospects where they’re at by amplifying your authority across the same social media platforms where your clients are already spending their time.


Expand Your Network

What would you do with 300 new leads connected with you on LinkedIn each month? You’d probably build relationships with those prospects a lot faster, turn those relationships into clients, and make a lot more money!

Leverage Your Website

Elevate Your Website

You’ve established your brand and your authority. You’ve grown your social following and your LinkedIn following exponentially. People look up to you, they know you have answers, and they want to visit your website to learn more.

Before you go...

…how about another newsletter? 😉

In all seriousness, you’ll love this one. Five minutes each week with illuminating insights & amplifying spotlights from the world of business, branding, coaching, and marketing.

If that sounds like your speed, we’re more than happy to have you.