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Nov 18, 2020

If things in your business and professional life seem dim and impossible to turn around right now, then this is an episode for you. Today’s guest has experienced it all and was able to create new opportunities for himself despite slim odds. 


Do you believe in second chances? Andre Norman does. His work has led him to start his flagship transformational program, 180x, which works to redevelop underserved communities, repair families in crisis, and reduce prison re-entry. As a prior inmate faced with a 100-year sentence and serving 14 years of it before he got out, it’s Andre’s mission in life to teach individuals and corporations how to turn any situation around. 


Even though people have great companies and great lives, there’s always some form of struggle behind the facade. An increased access to money doesn’t remove hardship. You’ve got problems just like anybody else has problems. 


Andre uses the example of Dr. Dre and Suge Knight. When the partnership turned bad, Dr. Dre decided to walk away completely. He didn’t want royalties or to ‘get his cut’ because he knew he could go back out there and rebuild it himself. Why waste time in an unhealthy environment and waste more energy on recovering what’s yours in a bad deal? 


When Andre was in solitary confinement, his mother came to see him and despite everything he was faced with, he thought he was winning. He thought because he was the king of this place, never mind the fact he was locked in a basement with no sunlight, that he had made it. It wasn’t until two years later did he have an epiphany, “If I’m the king of this place, then let yourself out.”  


With the Academy of Hope, Andre teaches inmates to think differently. It’s not about ‘us vs. the prison staff’, it’s about doing what’s right. This is why members of the Academy of Hope often step in to save guards' lives because it’s what you’re supposed to do. “Is it right to watch this man die in this fashion? The answer is no.”  


Interview Links:

Academy of Hope

Academy of Hope News Story

Documentary on Andre



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“Everyday I get up, I ask the simple question, what can I do to be helpful?”


“When you’re ready, you have to let go of the old and move into the new.”


“You are the people you surround yourself with. You are them.”


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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Gazelles Coaching, on how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business Podcast and a leading Gazelles Coach. Gazelles is the term we use for fast-growing companies.


We help leadership teams with 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Scaling Up for Gazelles companies is based on the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).