When Brad Thomson and his wife, Maria, decided to move to Seattle from Johannesburg, South Africa, they committed 100 percent.
“My belief is you need to burn your boats," said Brad. "You never burn bridges, but always burn your boats.”
Maria was working for Microsoft in Johannesburg when the company asked her to take on a role in Seattle. She and Brad decided it was a great opportunity, so they sold everything, hopped on a plane and haven't looked back.
“We really are enjoying the climate," said Brad. "The summers are hot but they’re not unbearable. And the nature! The city has just embraced nature in a tremendous way. These houses, there’s so much greenery around them I literally feel like I live in a clearing in the forest. The city is a beautiful city and the people have been wonderful.”
A Born Salesman
In Africa, Brad was consulting and facilitating for a company called SalesGuru. He conducted sales training and consulting for businesses around sales strategy, teaching clients how to promote turnover on the top line, how to get more sales and how to increase the confidence of their salespeople.
Sales has been Brad's specialty since he was on the playground.
“I was buying and selling stuff from my mates,” he said. “I remember one guy getting very upset with me because he sold me his bike for 60 bucks and I sold it for 100.” Brad tried explaining to the other kid that they simply valued the bike differently, but he wasn’t impressed.
As Brad grew up, he explored human resources, recruitment, teaching and psychology, but underneath all of these interests he found a common thread: He could apply every single one of them to sales and sales management. Sales, he discovered in time, is a conduit for bigger development. It takes people out of their comfort zone, causing them to grow and succeed — and that is precisely what Brad loves to see.
"I love people, that’s just the bottom line" he said. "I don’t think you need to be a psychologist to figure out I’m an extrovert. I find people fascinating. I absolutely adore people. Human development and people growing in some way is just absolutely fascinating to me. I get a significant happiness watching people set their goal and go and achieve it. Sales is an incredible tool to help people grow — not just financially."
Brad get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from helping someone who’s struggling to hit their targets not only meet their goals but break through them. And he helps people break past their limitations in his work with businesses, in his work coaching individuals as an accredited life coach, as a soccer coach, cricket coach — the list goes on.
After the move to Seattle, Brad immediately got to work writing a few books while he waited for his work permit to come through. Then he founded Brad Thomson Coaching LLC. and created a sales course for the Pacific Institute. Then one day, Brad met OneAccord founder Jeff Rogers and learned about OneAccord.
“There are a couple things that really attracted me. I did not enjoy being in my own business, on my own. I needed connection with other people. So, to find a group of people with a hot mind connection was important for me. And I have a passion for small-to-medium developing business. I have a passion for one-man businesses, individual owners, partnerships and developing businesses. And the reason for that is a lot of people decide to start a small business and they don’t realize the moment you start a small business, you are a salesperson.”
It doesn’t matter how great you are, he continued, if you don’t sell, you won’t have a business. And he called the fact that so many companies never make it past two years “devastating,” because many entrepreneurs invest their life savings into starting their company.
“I want to take my passion for sales and say, ‘Let me help you. Let’s protect the business by making you a sales machine, or put together a system to free you up to do your passion.”
Life on the Other Side of Business
Brad can’t imagine doing any other kind of work, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other interests. He’s a self-described closet chef, an avid reader who devours nonfiction books about people or psychology, and an outdoors enthusiast. And then there’s music.
“A little bit of music is good for the soul,” he said.
Brad is a self-taught musician. He played bass and guitar in Johannesburg with a few groups: the metal band Greenspray, the blues group Pocket Aces and the rock band Phoenix. He even did some vocal work, although he insists nobody would pay good money to hear him sing.
Currently, Brad is looking for a band to jam with. You can contact him directly, about a band or business, at (425) 800-7071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Brad’s professional experience click here, and to check out his blog posts, click here.
What's next for your business?
OneAccord helps business owners meet their goals by not only laying out a plan of action, but walking alongside and guiding them through that plan through to the finish line. This series highlights the people who make that possible.