GE 263: How Michael Bungay Stanier Sold 400K Copies of The Coaching Habit in Just 2 Years & Doubled Box of Crayons’ Revenue (podcast) With Michael Bungay Stanier

Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of Box of Crayons and author of The Coaching Habit. Box of Crayons coaches leaders on how to change their habits and manage teams more efficiently.

Tune in to hear Michael share how his business model used to be “if it has a pulse and a wallet he was interested”, how they stay in the $3-5 million dollar profit margin range, and how good coaching can positively impact your business!

Michael Bungay Stanier Box of Crayons

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:33] Before we jump into today’s interview, please leave a review and rating and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:24[ After getting a law degree, he left Australia for England.
  • [01:40] Once there, he met his Canadian wife who was getting her Ph.D.
  • [01:58] They moved around quite a bit before settling in Toronto.
  • [02:38] His business model was “if it has a pulse and a wallet” he was interested.
  • [03:35] He uses the canon ball metaphor to explain his failures and successes.
  • [04:20] He realized there was a market for coaching and new coaching techniques.
  • [04:40] The company is 15 years old and for the first 5 years, that hadn’t fully established the coaching aspect of their business.
  • [05:10] He used to think the Box of Crayons mission statement was “to help people and organizations do less good work and more great work.”
  • [05:25] Now, their mission is to teach 10 minute coaching, build stronger teams, and get better results.
  • [05:46] BOC makes money through their training program.
  • [06:00] Their clients range from large banks to fashion houses (Fortune 1000 companies).
  • [06:55] They offer three programs: 2 half-day programs and 1 full day program.
  • [07:03] The half-day programs costs $8,500. The full day costs around $16,000.
  • [07:35] BOC is in the $3-5 million dollar profit margin range.
  • [07:45] Last year, they doubled in revenue thanks to Michael’s book, The Coaching Habit
  • [08:45] You can’t just do training alone.
  • [08:57] You want training to be a smaller part of a bigger “game”.
  • [09:20] The challenge is keeping people engaged and curious.
  • [10:24] BOC has a bunch of post-training methods.
  • [10:38] Accountability partners have proven helpful.
  • [10:50] They also have a text-based follow-up program.
  • [12:15] The book has sold nearly 400,000 copies in two years.
  • [12:45] The book started out with key design principles.
  • [12:55] The first principle was keeping it as short as possible, while still getting its point across.
  • [13:10] The second principle was that it had to look interesting and accessible.
  • [13:51] The third principle was that the team needed to stay committed to marketing the book for a whole year.
  • [14:15] The looked at Dan Pink’s Drive, looked at who reviewed it positively, and reached out to them.
  • [14:55] Michael then wrote an article about how he sold his book, which in turn, sold more books.
  • [15:25] They spent 4 or 5 months seeding the market before the book’s official launch.
  • [16:07] Once the book was written, it was a full year of getting it published and marketing the book.
  • [17:25] Coaching will make your life better.
  • [17:55] Good coaching saves managers time and effort.
  • [18:11] Good habits are important to success.
  • [18:40] Before getting into coaching, figure out what it takes to change your behavior.
  • [19:25] Pick one of the book’s 7 questions and practice using that before moving on to the next one.
  • [21:30] “Just out of curiosity” is an important phrase to use when coaching.
  • [21:50] It lessens the pressure of the potential answer.
  • [23:05] It’s all about the delivery, when it comes to messaging.
  • [23:25] Michael recommends Truth and Lies by Mark Bowden.
  • [24:20] Michael thinks a chin-up bar has added value to his life. He tries to knock out a few chin-up’s per day.

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