"Q&A With Larry Broughton"

"Q&A With Larry Broughton"


Photo by Val Westover Photography

Author: Larry Broughton

Author Bio:

Larry Broughton is an award-winning entrepreneur and CEO, bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and former Special Forces Operator. As a former US Army Staff Sergeant, serving 8 years on Special Forces A-Teams (commonly known as the Green Berets), Larry has parlayed the lessons learned from his time in service to his country and applied them to the business arena attaining extraordinary success.


He is the Founder & CEO of broughtonHOTELS, a leader in the boutique hotel industry; and yoogozi, an inspirational online learning forum for leaders and high achievers. Larry has received several business awards, including Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year®"; the National Veteran-Owned Business Association's "Vetrepreneur® of the Year"; Coastline Foundation's "Visionary of the Year"; Passkeys Foundation's "National Leader of Integrity"; and Entrepreneur Magazine included his firm on their "Hot 500 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies."


Larry has authored several articles and books on leadership, team building, and entrepreneurial significance, including his newest book, "VICTORY: 7 Revolutionary Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Launch Your Business, Elevate Your Impact and Transform Your Life," and "FLASHPOINTS for Achievers." His upbeat, creative approach to business and life has been featured in newspaper and magazine articles across the country and he's been a guest on news and TV programs on every major network, including multiple appearances on CNBC's "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch", MSNBC's "Your Business" with JJ Ramberg, and Travel Channel's hit show, "Hotel Impossible."


You can learn more about Larry at www.larrybroughton.me or www.yoogozi.com


1. Do you believe that serving in the military has given you a mental edge in the business world?

I’d need to be more specific, and say that my time in Army’s Special Forces gave me the edge, it was there that I learned of the power of small elite teams when people are working inside their strengths; and the importance of developing Contingency Plans and After Action Reviews (both of which I use in business). It was in the Green Berets that I truly understood the power of driving-on in the face of adversity, and that tenacity eats talent for lunch. It was there that I learned and exercised real-world leadership skills, and was regularly offered the opportunities to face my fears, which are useful experiences in facing daily entrepreneurial challenges.

2.  Who has been an important mentor in your life? What’s one of the most important things you have learned from them?

 Darrell Fusaro was a long time mentor who helped me awaken to several keys to success. I can’t narrow it down to one, so I’ll offer just two. The first is to remind myself that since I’m on my journey towards my better self, I’m not who I used to be…and that’s a good thing. Transformation is a powerful life force, and there’s no need to drag the ball and chain behind me of my former self. The second is the vital importance of starting each day with a morning routine of intentional thinking, positive reading, inspirational mantras, deep breathing and visualization for the day. Those seven minutes I dedicate each morning are the most powerful in setting my day on the right course.

3.  In your opinion, what are five important elements a winning team must have?

  1. An inspiring vision, and a clearly defined mission that every team member understands and can articulate.
  2. A servant leader who is committed to helping every team member move closer to their fullest potential.
  3. Tenacious and selfless team members who are willing to put the success of the team above their own agenda.
  4. A positive culture of support and cheering each other on, even when mistakes are made, and goals are missed.
  5. Courage! In life and leadership, courage changes everything!


4.  What made you get into entrepreneurship and what has kept you in entrepreneurship?

 I tend to have an odd gene that always says, “Oh, I can do that,” and asks, “How hard can it be?” I tend to see possibility and promise everywhere I look and found that when I was an employee, my potential for growth was always limited by the manager or leader I worked for…and that felt stifling.

I always seemed to have the mindset that I can do things better, and I can create a better team than my competitors. I continue on the journey because, with the exception of my military service, it’s the most rewarding, challenging, and scariest thing I’ve ever done; and I’m a bit addicted to helping create opportunities for our team members, investors, stakeholders.

5.  What is one of the worst mistakes you have made in business?

 There was a season after I first launched my hotel company when I no longer had a mentor, nor did I participate in a mastermind. I was the smartest and most experienced person on my team; which is the fatal flaw of leaders and entrepreneurs.

It took the wake-up call of losing virtually everything (including my family) during the 2001 recession, when I had just $84 in the bank with payroll due, and capital calls looming for me to hire a business mentor and join a mastermind. Since that time, I have always surrounded myself with people who are bolder and brighter than me and actively sought the wise counsel of mentors.

6.  When it comes to marketing your hotel business, how were you able to get customers to stay and come back to your hotel?

In any business, we must provide the most exceptional and value-based product we can for the budget we have. Additionally, we must accurately match our product with the appropriate audience, so marketing a limited-service hotel to a seasoned luxury traveler will only lead to disappointment. Then, we must develop an emotional connection with our clients so that they feel like the hotel/product represents how they see themselves…we joke that “you are where you sleep.”

When our guests have this emotional connection with the hotel and our team members, they are less likely to migrate to another hotel just because they are new, or offer discounts. Finally, we must create a positive, upbeat and anticipatory service culture that understands our clients/guests needs before they do.

When we excel in these areas, our guests become our most valuable marketing tool by spreading positive word of mouth and using the power of the “word of mouse” by spreading love and likes across the internet about their experience with us.

7.  What was your favorite book to write/what was your most challenging book to write? And Why?

My favorite book to write was the second edition of my upcoming book, VICTORY: 7 Revolutionary Strategies For Entrepreneurs to Launch Your Business, Elevate Your Impact and Transform Your Life. I’ve added about twenty percent more content, as well as some powerful tools and resources to move the reader closer to a life of significance.

 My most challenging book to write was FLASHPOINTS for Achievers. It’s a daily journal with inspiring messages that bring significant results for entrepreneurs, leaders, and high-achievers. Each day’s entry offers high-octane wisdom and inspiration in 130 words or less.

Trying to deliver 300+ inspirational and transformational messages in so few words was not easy…but, I’m absolutely proud, and a little humbled, by the positive impact this book has had on the lives of tens of thousands of readers. We regularly receive emails and thank you cards for the power found in its pages.

8.  What is your writing process like in general?

I need to break the process down into small, manageable sessions, otherwise, I get overwhelmed and procrastinate. I identify an overarching topic that I want to share, and then I read and research as much as I can on the topic. I then break down the main theme into sub-topics which become chapters and then break down chapters into smaller sections.

I have post-it notes with the name or theme of the book written on one colored post-it note at the top of a pyramid on my home office wall, then chapter titles or topics written on a different color note in a row below that, then stories; examples; and key points that support the chapter on a different color note below each chapter heading.

I am always writing the smaller segments of the book in my mind, so that when it’s time to actually sit down and write (which is usually between 1 am and 7 am), I can just purge the words and thoughts that have been stewing in my mind. I tend not to write in a linear fashion, but jump from topic to topic listed on my post-it notes as the mood moves me.

9.  What is your best advice for getting through writer’s block?

Reflect on what it is that's causing the block and address that issue. When I’m blocked, it’s usually because I’m actually overwhelmed by fear of being judged, not being prepared, or not being good enough. Once I’ve identified what’s causing the block, I acknowledge it and take time to go for a walk or run, listen to music, and just daydream between where ever my mind wants to go and my writing project.

I suggest writers avoid feeling like a victim, beating themselves up, or procrastinating until they feel inspired; instead write something, anything, every day. Write one phrase or one sentence, and then write another one if you can, but write something. Soon, the flow will begin again.

10.  What is the best book you have read in 2017?

Daring Greatly: How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene’ Brown. 

11.  Do you plan on writing more books in the future?

Of course! Once you write one book, the reward and sense of accomplishment are so great, that it becomes addicting. We all have a message inside of us that must be shared with the world. As we grow, our message evolves and becomes clearer, and our audience grows with us. It’s immoral to keep our message bottled up inside.

12.  What's the best advice you have received on happiness?

Stop living in the past, stop comparing yourself to others, free your heart of hatred, free your mind of worry, live simply, serve more, and expect less.

Bonus:  Have you ever considered running for president? If so, what are some issues you would focus on?

Having traveled to a few dozen countries and studied Political Science in college, the thought of running for president has come to mind from time to time, although I’m not certain I have thick enough skin.

There seems to be a leadership gap at every level of government, where our leaders are afraid to do the hard right over the easy wrong. Too many put loyalty to their party, over loyalty to their country and our citizens, which leads to the “gotcha politics” and down-right lies about the other side. I recognize it’s the hardest job on the planet, but five issues I’d focus on would be:

 + Entrepreneurship—small business is the backbone of our economy, and there are too many roadblocks for business owners. Real wealth is created from business ownership, not working for “the man.” An Entrepreneurial Revolution will drive creativity, spur the economy and create tax revenues.

 + Education—we have to modernize our antiquated system of learning, which was mostly created during the dawning of the Industrial Revolution when sameness, consistency, and conformity was the rule, and deviation from the norm was not tolerated. We need to encourage diversity of thought and develop the ability to think creatively again. This will secure future generations of inventors, thought leaders, and creators.

 + Innovation—we’re slowly strangling the goose that laid the golden egg while business and industries are cutting back on Research & Development as Congress lets the R&D tax credit lapse each year. This forces corporations to focus more on short-term profits than on long-term investments in the future. Other countries are rewarding job-creating innovators and businesses while we look at business owners as the enemy.

 + Infrastructure—too many of our country’s underpinnings, including freeways and roads, airports, bridges, public transit, hazardous waste, and dams are literally crumbling while other nations are investing heavily in their infrastructure, which attracts corporations to want to do business there. We cannot sustain our population growth for two more generations without a significant shift in this area. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our nation’s infrastructure as a D+, which is simply pathetic.

+ Integrity—with ethical lapses in every nook and cranny of our society occurring just about every other second these days, I often ask myself if integrity is dead in America. Integrity is routinely the most important value we long for in leaders, and is the cornerstone of healthy relationships with our family, friends, and allies. Integrity is the most important building block for creating enduring success and living lives of significance.


Places To Find More From This Author:

Twitter/Instagram: @larrybroughton

Facebook: Larry Broughton 

Website: larrybroughton.me


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