A Grand Rapids man is making a name for himself in the podcast arena.
Brian Bosley has spent the better part of the past 26 years “peak performance coaching,” primarily in the financial services industry. In January of 2022 he decided to take his message to a wider audience and started The Bamboo Lab Podcast. In just under 12 short months the podcast has grown leaps and bounds. The podcast is now in the top 25% of downloaded podcasts in the entire world and Bosley has listeners on six continents, 41 countries and all 50 states.
So, what does performance coaching have to do with bamboo?
“It just came to me, my theory of success is like a bamboo tree. Bamboo is one of the most durable trees in the world, except it’s not a tree at all. It’s a type of grass,” said Bosley.
“You plant it, water it, nourish it and nothing happens…until some time between the fourth and fifth year the seed explodes through the earth and grows about 90 feet in the first six to eight weeks. At that point it can withstand hurricanes and typhoons. It bends when other trees break. I equate that with success and improvement. You first have to become rooted in the earth.”
Bosley, a native of St. Ignace, spent the better part of the past 22 years in Grand Rapids. People around town may know him as the guy who owned Torch Consulting, which had offices on Cascade Road, Division and Patterson. He still owns the house where he raised his son, Dawson, in East Grand Rapids, but when Dawson graduated in 2021, and with a new grand baby on the way (his daughter, Ashley’s) in Marquette, he decided to return to his own roots. He moved to Gladstone and into a camper for the summer.
“I thought of the camper as a lab I would use for the next three months, a good opportunity to focus on growing spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually and financially.”
Thus the Bamboo Lab was born. He officially changed the name of his company in November of 2021 and started making the rest of his history.
The podcast is about “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” Bosley’s website states. “Through the wisdom shared, we help you to sculpt your life and live your true peak identity!”
Like many people who attain success, Bosley’s own story was sculpted out of one particular failure. After graduating from college at Central Michigan University in 1991, Bosley started working for a financial consulting firm in Okemos, Michigan. His job was to cold call people and sell them financial services.
“After six months in the industry, there were 28 people in the office. I was in last place, I was number 28. I wasn’t bad at sales, but I wasn’t a particularly good financial adviser. What I didn’t like about being number 28, my managers were always there. I like to be left alone.
Bosley had an epiphany one day while looking in the mirror, shaving. He remembered a quote: “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”
He didn’t know who said it, but he knew it rang true. If he could get his numbers up, the bosses would leave him alone and he set out to do just that.
His numbers shot up and Bosley was whisked off to the Detroit branch of the company and put in charge of a marketing plan to replace cold calling under the supervision of Detroit businessman, John Hantz (made famous by the 2018 documentary, Land Grab).
“He gave me my first boost of confidence,” said Bosley. “ I got to travel around the country, speaking and training on site: Oregon, LA, Boston, Kansas City, Vancouver, Seattle…I’d be gone for two weeks, come home for a long weekend and then go back out on the road.”
Though Bosley was doing what he liked to do most, he hated every single minute of being away from home. A life change would soon put an end to it. Bosley went through a divorce and was awarded sole custody of his two-year-old son.
With traveling to speaking engagements no longer an option, Bosley turned to coaching over the phone and put his nose to the grindstone to generate a base of local clients to make ends meet.
“Grand Rapids saved me at that point. If I’d been living in a small town I don’t know what I would have done,” Bosley said. “I had to formulate a local practice. I joined the Chamber of Commerce and (other organizations). I went to my office, clients came to me. It paid the bills. I moved to East Grand Rapids. I started doing more phone training. I still traveled sometimes, but a lot less.”
A client in Boston wanted Bosley to spend several weeks at a time there, but Bosley put his foot down.”I said, ‘you don’t need me back here, I can do the training sessions over the phone. I do everything now over the phone, Microsoft Teams or Zoom.’”
After 26 years of executive coaching, public speaking, phone calls and Zoom sessions, hosting a podcast seems to come naturally to Bosley. He gently guides his interview subjects through a series of questions. He asks everyone about their backgrounds, hardships they’ve faced, and what they did to overcome them. He listens and recaps without interruption.
With a successful podcast now under his belt, what’s next?
“I want to do more public speaking, reduce my private coaching business and concentrate on a book,” Bosley said.
Catch Bosley’s podcast, The Bamboo Lab, on Apple Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and more.