In this episode, Stacy sits down with Clay Clark, who is the CEO of Thrive15, a leading business coaching program, as well as a New York Times bestselling author and a Forbes Business Coach Council member. The two discuss Clay’s successful tactics in how to skyrocket business growth and how to build a business dream team.
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- EP171: Bringing Your Business To The Next Level with Drew McLellan | McLellan Marketing Group
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Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of Influencer Marketing and Branded Content Agency Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for topics for us to share the insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today.Stacy Jones: 00:16
While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.
Speaker 2: 00:31
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and how to avoid them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: 00:36
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today and I want to give a very warm welcome to our guests, the former US Small Business Association entrepreneur of the year, Clay Clark.
Stacy Jones: 00:49
Clay is the CEO of Thrive15, a leading business coaching program. He is also a member of the Forbes Business Coach Council and author of nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers.
Stacy Jones: 01:00
Clay, not only has been featured in Fast Company, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, and numerous other publications, he’s also the host of Thrivetime Show podcast, which has hit number one in the iTunes charts for business podcast six times.
Stacy Jones: 01:13
Clay has founded 15 multimillion dollar companies including a successful marketing firm, a world-class entertainment company, and an online business school. Clay is best known for all the businesses he has helped others launch and grow by utilizing the wealth of knowledge he attained through studying the past and present giants in business.
Stacy Jones: 01:32
Today we’re going to talk with Clay about using proven systems to skyrocket business growth. Many of his clients have had over a 300% growth in a year. We’ll learn what’s worked from Clay’s experience, what could be avoided, and how some businesses are missing the mark. Clay, welcome.
Clay Clark: 01:49
Hey, I appreciate you for letting me harass your guests today and hopefully we can all learn something today. Or maybe learn something from you and the guests can, the listeners can learn something from me.
Stacy Jones: 02:00
Absolutely. Well, I’m very happy to have you here. Can we start off by having you share a little bit of your background and gotten you to where you are today?
Clay Clark: 02:07
Well, it’s a simple one, two, three program. Step one, I went to, I grew up without money. I grew up without money. So step two, I determined that I needed more money to buy the goods and services I needed. And then step three, I decided I was willing to trade off everything in the way to get that money. And so I wake up at 3:00 a.m. Most people wake up at six or seven or eight and I’ve been doing that for 23 years.
Stacy Jones: 02:34
Well, I think that you have just demonstrated that with your one, two, three that you have a process and that may be focused on money.
Clay Clark: 02:43
Stacy Jones: 02:44
Clay Clark: 02:45
Stacy Jones: 02:46
So do you find that a lot of entrepreneurs when they’re starting businesses or they’re enmeshed in businesses aren’t as focused on money? Is that where they go wrong? Where do you think they get off the track?
Clay Clark: 02:56
Well, that is a wonderful question. I have a book that all the listeners can download for free called The Boom Book and they can get it at thrivetimeshow.com. They can download the ebook for free. It’s called The Boom Book. You can get it, just click on the podcast button, you can download it.
Clay Clark: 03:11
And in there on page four, we have this diagram. It shows a linear workflow from left to right, so it’s a linear workflow. And what happens is is most people, step one, don’t have goals, defined goals.
Clay Clark: 03:26
So I have five kids. So I sit down and I say self, I have five kids. I want to have five kids. Before I had five kids, I had the thought, I want to have five kids. So I asked my potential wife to be, do you want to have five kids? She says, yes, boom, goals. That’s the achievement of goals.
Clay Clark: 03:39
If she said no, I would not have married her and she wouldn’t have married me. We agree on the same goals, we’ve got five kids, we want to do that. So I want to spend time with my kids. So my goal is to make the most amount of money possible in the least amount of time so that I can chase my wife around and see my kids, which I helped bring into this earth, but my wife did most of the heavy work there.
Clay Clark: 03:58
But I want to spend time with my kids. And so I want to spend time with my kids. I need to make the money I need. So one particular company is called Elephant in the Room. It’s a men’s grooming lounge we have with 4,000 members. It’s like a country club for men’s hair.
Clay Clark: 04:12
And I pay myself $2 per haircut, two. I could pay myself more, but just two. So $2 per haircut. It’s a membership model. I make roughly $8,000 a month with that company. It’s $96,000 a year. And I use that money to pay for private school, toothbrushes, Silkie chickens, a lot of cat food. We have 13 cats and we also are feeding the raccoons right now. And then I have thousands of trees and a man-cave waterfall, and these kind of fun things.
Clay Clark: 04:38
But I don’t care about money. Money’s just the fuel I put in my car to get from A to B. For me, a business is just a vehicle to get from A to B. So I focus on the money right away, so I never have to think about the money because I don’t care about money. I care about getting to my destination.
Clay Clark: 04:54
I am as passionate about money as I am fossil fuels. I just need it to get from A to B.
Stacy Jones: 04:59
Okay. So what should entrepreneurs be passionate about?
Clay Clark: 05:04
Everything that you, everything that you want to … If you had all the money in the world, what would you do? And then that’s what you should be passionate about and the business should just exist to get you there. That is my worldview.
Clay Clark: 05:19
So my partner and I between the two of us, there’s 15 multimillion dollar companies and he’s the top optometrist in the State of Oklahoma, that sees the most patients. He also owns a bank and an auto auction and he’s a great guy and he loves his patients, but he never sees patients. Like he never ever, ever, ever, never ever nor does he ever go there. And so, or like the bank, the one place you won’t find him is at the bank or at the auto auction.
Clay Clark: 05:46
So I believe I want to build a business that can serve me and my customers. I call it the three P’s. I want to have a great product that I’m proud to show my mom where my mom goes, oh well. I want to have a profit of 20%, that’s my goal and I want to hire people that I would want to hang out with. Dudes I’d want to have a beer with, ladies who I wouldn’t mind hanging out with my family. People might that are wife approved. You know, my wife does all the accounting and all the legal and then I do all the system and workflow creation.
Clay Clark: 06:15
And so, and then I think if you’re a listener out there, you want to figure out what would you focus on. If you were like 85 years old and you had one year left, or you’re 95 one year left, or maybe you’re 45 and you have one year left. What if you just had one year left? What would you be doing with your time? And then figure out how you could build a business that allows you to free up the time needed so you can do what you want to do.
Stacy Jones: 06:37
And so really what you just said is you are not in the business of being in business. You’re in the business of having a business that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to have, and you want to have the right people in place who can run and operate that business so that you are not mired down into it on a day to day basis.
Clay Clark: 06:54
Right, and this’ll be a great, great point. At our conference we have every two months, people are always shocked, but we don’t take on new clients because I only want to take on 160 clients and we have 160 clients. And so people are like, well, what is your goal? You know, what’s your end game? That’s what I love doing. I love helping people achieve their goals.
Clay Clark: 07:14
So one of my clients, I know some of your listeners will like this and some of them won’t, but every year there’s a Christmas tree lighting at the White House. They light the Christmas tree. And one of my clients, I shall announce his name very soon, but he is going to be the musical performance that is playing at the White House when they light the tree, and that was his goal. And that’s cool, that’s a great goal.
Clay Clark: 07:36
And my goal is to hopefully help just one listener today learn something that can help them achieve success. That’s my goal. But my goal is not haircuts, if that makes sense.
Stacy Jones: 07:47
It absolutely does. So what are some of the initial roadmaps that an entrepreneur needs to put in place for their business so that they can actually set this up for success?
Clay Clark: 08:01
Okay, I’m going to turn to page four of The Boom Book, here we go. So step one, we want to figure it out our goals and specifically how many customers do you need to have per year to achieve your financial goals? How many customers?
Clay Clark: 08:12
Then step two is how many hours per week are you willing to work? I started off by telling you I get up at three every day and I hate it. Oh, I hate it, it’s three. Ah, who set this alarm? This is terrible.
Clay Clark: 08:23
But then once I get the momentum going and I’m wrapping up my day at five and with so many people were helping, that’s great. But at three, I don’t want to wake up then, but I’ve chosen that. I’m not mad about it. It’s just the life I’ve chosen. I have five kids. We’ve got a lot of land and business ventures and stuff. So you got to figure out how many hours a week am I willing to work?
Clay Clark: 08:43
I’ve got one of my clients right now who literally, I’m not exaggerating, he literally every meeting we meet. He’s been a client of mine for almost eight years, and he starts off the meeting. I say, how are you client? And he says, oh, I’m doing great. I’m just bored. I’m like, you’re bored? What do you mean? This is a guy who could barely pay his bill seven years ago?
Clay Clark: 09:01
He goes, well, I’ve got millions of dollars in the bank and tons of time free and I’m just bored. So I said, perhaps you should do a hobby. What are the things you’re interested in? And he says, learning the guitar. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and if I had all the time needed, I would do it.
Clay Clark: 09:17
I said, well, hey, congratulations. You’re 40. I appoint you as a guitar specialist. And he’s like, you got to mean, at the age of 40 I’m going to be in classes with 12 year olds and 13 year olds. I go, oh yeah. And it’s going to take you like 10,000 hours to get good according to Malcolm Gladwell, so you better get started buddy. Now he’s good. Like he can’t just strum chords, he can actually play really well. Not Dave Matthews, but good.
Clay Clark: 09:41
So you want to figure that out. Now for me, I’d go crazy if I was having guitar lessons all day with nothing on my to do list. I like to stay busy so everyone’s got their own flow. And don’t let me put my flow on you, but figure out the number of hours you’re willing to work and run that by your spouse, your spouse. Because if I want to create drama in my house, I don’t run it by my spouse.
Clay Clark: 09:58
Move three. You want to figure out how do you compete with people and what can you do differently or better than your competition? So the Elephant in the Room is a country club for men’s hair. I wear a hat. The irony of that is impossible. I wear a hat every day. I don’t dress up anymore and I have not good hair.
Clay Clark: 10:16
But I own a men’s grooming lounge. I did it because I realized that sitting on small blue chairs, always having to wait on your stylist didn’t work. So I created the country club for men’s hair with my partners and it does very well right now, but not because I am passionate about men’s hair or country clubs. I just saw a niche.
Clay Clark: 10:35
I’ve also had a big bakery back in the day that was very, very nice. We won a lot of awards and it did great and I really don’t like cake. I mean, so you can make, you don’t have to be passionate about the thing, you got to be passionate about your family.
Clay Clark: 10:49
Then your branding. There’s 13 steps, but for sake of time, the next step is branding and just do an audit and say on a scale of one to 10, how good is my branding? Does my website look bad or does it look good? And don’t look at it with rose colored glasses because your husband made it or something. Be honest and say on a scale of one to 10. If Tesla is like a 10, am I at one or a seven or a six, and you want to make sure you’re a 10 on all your branding.
Clay Clark: 11:13
Because Michael Levine, one of my partners and good friends. He was the PR consultant for Michael Jackson and Nike and Prince and Pizza Hut. He says that people do judge a ring by the box it’s presented in. So if you present somebody a ring in a Tiffany box, they’ll perceive it to be of higher value or more prestige, if it is in a Tiffany box. Even if it was just cubic zirconium, you can fake people.
Clay Clark: 11:39
So the key is to have great branding and a great product because the next step is you got to deliver and you’ve got to deliver a lot man. Because when you wow people, they refer now. When people are wowed, they refer now.
Clay Clark: 11:50
Now if you don’t wow people, if they’re like, how was the meal? It was okay. How was the movie? That’s not going to work. You got to be like my Big Fat Greek wedding. You got to be like Braveheart. People have to talk about that thing. It has to go viral. It’s got to be epic, it’s got to be awesome, and that is what I like to do.
Clay Clark: 12:07
And then you got to do some accounting because somebody has got to make sure you’re paying Uncle Sam, so Uncle Sam can build roads for everybody and schools and plant trees and defend our country. And a lot of people don’t like accounting.
Clay Clark: 12:19
So as we go down that path, you’re going to run into stuff that you don’t want to do. And what you don’t want to do is entirely not related to what you need to do. So you might go, I just don’t do accounting. I’m more of a big vision person. Well then, you’re a broke person, unless you hire someone to do accounting.
Clay Clark: 12:33
So I don’t like accounting, but I do it. I’m dyslexic, but I read books and I write them. So, I mean it’s just, you got to figure out what you need to do and then if you’re willing to do it yourself, do it. And if not, hire someone to do it. But that is what you need to do.
Stacy Jones: 12:47
Like your wife who’s handling your accounting?
Clay Clark: 12:48
Oh my gosh, she’s an angel. My wife has beautiful white teeth just like you. Nice like you, nice voice like you. Nice, nice person. But she’s like so smart. Like she’s like I mean she’s an attractive lady but seriously, she is like a genius. I don’t even understand it.
Clay Clark: 13:04
And she’s just is very good at the accounting. Very black and white. We never owe taxes. She’s not filing ridiculous extensions to delay paying bills. We don’t have tax issues. She’s just, she’s great.
Clay Clark: 13:16
And she handles all the legal stuff, which means that she gets to talk to my attorney, Wes Carter, who his company is Winters and King.com. Wintersking.com. They represent T.D. Jakes, the pastor, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church. And they made a poor life choice and they also represent me.
Clay Clark: 13:31
And my wife talks to them every day about the various legal entanglements that I find myself in. Because if you do a lot of business per million dollars a year of gross revenue, there’ll be one legal entanglement. That’s my ratio I’ve discovered.
Stacy Jones: 13:46
Well that’s a ratio that you can deal with that every million.
Clay Clark: 13:49
Yeah, it’s every million dollars of revenue. So it’s like one slip and fall, and again, if you got to work legitimately. We have worker’s comp and we’re happy to do that. But if you’re like on camera faking your injury and we caught you, which did happen this year, it’s fun. Then we have audio and video of it, but that still doesn’t keep someone from trying and you’ve got to defend yourself, and it’s just kind of the game.
Stacy Jones: 14:11
No, and having lawyers actually on your side is really, really helpful if you’re in business. I think it’s one of the first things that people should do is make sure that they have a lawyer who they can refer themselves to when calamity arises, instead of just pretending you’re an ostrich and ignoring things.
Clay Clark: 14:27
Hey, I have a question for you. I shouldn’t interview the interviewer, but I have a question.
Stacy Jones: 14:30
You can, sure.
Clay Clark: 14:31
You seem like a happy person. Is there something wrong with you or why are you so happy?
Stacy Jones: 14:36
Hey, I’m really happy. I have a good life.
Clay Clark: 14:38
See, that’s what I’m saying. You have a great life. Your listeners know that and everybody out there listening today, we can all have a great life. We sit down and we are intentional. We design the schedule we want. I encourage you to do that. I encourage you to sit down and figure it out. Where do you want to be today versus where are you? Where do you want to be tomorrow versus where are you today? Where do you want to be tomorrow versus where are you today?
Clay Clark: 14:59
And figure out how many things you have to sell to afford it and that’s what a business should be. It should be, it’s pursuit of money.
Stacy Jones: 15:07
You touched on the point that if you don’t want to do it and it needs to be done, you’re going to be broke because it’s not getting done, but you can hire someone to do it.
Clay Clark: 15:17
Stacy Jones: 15:18
What about hiring? How do you approach hiring?
Clay Clark: 15:21
Oh, great question.
Stacy Jones: 15:22
Getting the best people on your team?
Clay Clark: 15:24
Oh, now Andrew, who you met earlier, when kind of our show, a warm up here as I promised not to ruin your show for your audience. Andrew talked to you briefly. He’s a guy who kind of came through that process, but basically every week with all my companies, we interview all candidates at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Clay Clark: 15:45
So people who are already employed can come to it. And in our country we have a very low unemployment rate, which is a good thing. Some people say it’s an Obama thing, some say it’s a Trump thing, but it’s a thing.
Clay Clark: 15:54
So people who have jobs who want jobs and people all show up at the same time. And I interview all 40 to 80 people at the same time, literally as a group. I call it the group interview. It’s my little gift to the listeners and so no matter what your resume says. If your resume says, hey, I hate bunnies. All say, I’ll respond, I or my teammate will, hey, we’d love to interview you this Thursday at six.
Clay Clark: 16:21
If your resume said I have an MBA, great Thursday at six. You said, who are you? We’d say, great, we’ll interview you Thursday at six. They all come in at one time and then I say, hi, my name is Clay Clark and I own a bunch of businesses. You’ve probably seen them around Tulsa and what I want you to do is I want you to write down any questions that you would ask your boss before starting the last job that you no longer like or liked.
Clay Clark: 16:45
So you can ask me anything at all. About our compensation, expectations, obligations, weird conversations, who’s your boss going to be, the org chart, anything. The mission, the vision. Why I dress like Adam Sandler. Any of these things you can ask. Any bad things you’ve read on Glassdoor, good things on Glassdoor. Good things on Google, bad things on Google. You can ask me about anything and I will answer them for you.
Clay Clark: 17:08
But I’m not going to say to you what’s your biggest weakness? Because then you’re going to say, well, I just, I work too hard and I’m so focused. Sometimes I take my work too seriously. Because I’m not going to do that with you.
Clay Clark: 17:20
So what I’m going to do is you can ask me any questions you want and then that person now starts to go, well I can ask this guy some questions. So I go around the room and say, ma’am, what is your name? What position are you applying for? She’ll say, sales or marketing or web development or graphic design or hair stylist or auto mechanic or whatever it is. And then I’ll say, now what questions do you have?
Clay Clark: 17:39
And I can tell based on people’s countenance, their aura, if they’re a good fit by looking into their eyes and into their soul twice. I go back and forth. It’s weird. And then I get the resume that I have.
Clay Clark: 17:52
All the women can do it by the way too. Every woman out there, you know it’s intuition. Your husband has no clue that person is a serial ax murderer, but you pick up on it right away. The husband wants to hire, we’re like blind to this. I’ve had to learn it over time.
Clay Clark: 18:05
But then if I think I like you, I then call your references and I hire you. And usually there’s five people per group of 70 that I like, usually. And then I do read their references and call them after that process. That’s what I do every week.
Stacy Jones: 18:18
So you’re looking for someone who has some sort of authenticity and a spark that comes across that is going to benefit?
Clay Clark: 18:26
I’m looking for you, that’s what I’m looking for. People that are just naturally are having a blasty blast.
Stacy Jones: 18:29
Clay Clark: 18:30
Stacy Jones: 18:32
And then you also talk a lot about, let’s say one of those five maybe isn’t the right person. Your intuition was dead on, but something happened and it went sideways.
Clay Clark: 18:43
Well we have a shadow day, which usually I can figure that out to about a 5% accuracy. So 95% of the time, I can nail it down. But if you are a good fit, I’ll have you shadow for an hour and a half usually. Just come to the office, experience that which we do and see if you like the hundreds of people that would be in your life now. See if you’d like these people because people have to fit in.
Clay Clark: 19:04
People, it’s kind of like, you decide what job you want to work at, usually based on like do I like my boss, and do I like the people I would be working with. So it’s kind of like where you’re asking them like, is he always like this? Why does he whisper all the time? Why does he wear that boom hat? Why does he dress like Adam Sandler?
Clay Clark: 19:21
You get these questions a lot and it’s like, is that his wife? What does she do? Do we get, why do we start every work day at 7:00 a.m. and why do we end at three and why do we only work four days a week here, four days a week? Is that real? I mean there’s just a lot of that kind of stuff that has to happen. And then people usually will say, I need to go to my car, and they never come back. Or they say they want to work here.
Stacy Jones: 19:44
So why do you start at seven, end at three and have four days a week?
Clay Clark: 19:48
No traffic, so my employees can have better life balance. They can go to the bank, they can go get their hair haircut, they can get their teeth cleaned, that kind of thing. Take their kids to school. They can be a better part of their kids’ lives.
Clay Clark: 19:58
And then on Friday they get that off because we have a conference every two months. And so every two months there is a conference where they’re expected to be there Friday and Saturday. And so I kind of just want to make sure on average it’s like four and a half days a week.
Stacy Jones: 20:10
Clay Clark: 20:11
It’s easier to recruit by the way as well.
Stacy Jones: 20:13
And then are you having all of your businesses really housed out of the same area or do you have other facilities?
Clay Clark: 20:20
Brick and mortars is throughout the country. Physical locations throughout the country, but in Tulsa is like the hub of the brain. It’s all the marketing, the systems, the processes, and then it’s disseminated out to the rest of the States.
Stacy Jones: 20:34
Okay. And one of the other things that you do is seemingly market yourself very well. How do you make suggestions to others on how they should approach marketing besides their branding and making sure it’s a 10 on their website and [inaudible 00:20:49] etc?
Clay Clark: 20:50
Well, I have a kind of a surprise. I know I shouldn’t do surprises on guests here, but Josh, are you here? Are you here Josh? Are you there?
How are you sir?
Clay Clark: 20:58
Okay. I think Josh is there. There he is. Josh, are you there?
I am sir.
Clay Clark: 21:01
He’s not on camera so we can’t prove he’s real.
Stacy Jones: 21:02
That’s okay. This voice.
Clay Clark: 21:04
Google search, Living Water Irrigation and Josh, how long have I been knowing you?
A little, almost two years now.
Clay Clark: 21:12
And you just got on Good Morning America two weeks ago, am I correct?
Clay Clark: 21:16
And all the listeners can Google search Tulsa man buys eight billboards to declare love for his wife and you’ll see him. Michael Strahan talking about you up on the Good Morning America. You’ve also been reached out to by, who else has reached out to you?
Kelly Clarkson, Washington Post did an article. People did an article. Bunch of local news outlets, Fox News National. 50 something outlets all together.
Clay Clark: 21:37
So it’s called three legged marketing stool, so there’s three things. So Josh, if you Google search, if anybody gets out the Google machine right now and Googles Tulsa irrigation systems, you’ll see Living Water Irrigation is top in Google. They also have the most reviews and they have a solid no brainer offer that people like. So get them top on Google with the most reviews. Both those things are true. Real reviews from real customers.
Clay Clark: 21:59
Two, they have a really hot offer that people like. What’s the offer there, Josh?
$1 first service call for all new customers.
Clay Clark: 22:06
Yep, and then they have ads that are running on Facebook to their ideal and likely buyers. And then we do sufficiently weird things from time to time. And his weird thing is he’s on Good Morning America.
Stacy Jones: 22:17
And then you did that through a publicity stunt by buying eight billboards and …
Clay Clark: 22:20
He did it. I did nothing. I just said, this might be a good idea. But now he did it. He pulled the trigger. He’s the bold man.
Stacy Jones: 22:27
What made you come up with that? It’s great.
Clay Clark: 22:30
This guy has a psychological problem. Every time you talk to him, you say Josh, how are you? How’s your day? He’ll say, you know, Clay I’m blessed. Amy’s the best. Oh Amy, it’s almost like your third wheeling all the time. You know, what I mean? Third wheeling when you’re on a date and there’s someone with you, a third party, like your cousin, your nephew, and you’re like third wheeling. I feel like I’m third wheeling when I’m around this guy because he’s not focused on me. He’s focused on she and that’s a problem. So he loves his wife. She is the focus. She’s the goal. He’s a great guy.
Clay Clark: 22:57
So I was like, hey, why don’t we just take what’s out of your head and put it on a billboard? That’s why. I would never suggest that with any other client.
Stacy Jones: 23:03
How are you going to top that?
Clay Clark: 23:05
I’m going to do a billboard that says I love Vanessa more than Josh loves Amy. That’ll go up next month I think.
Stacy Jones: 23:12
In more cities.
Clay Clark: 23:15
Yeah. I don’t know. I mean it’s just fun. I mean it’s just when money is just fuel, you know? And Josh wanted to share his love for his wife and it was a fun way to do that.
Stacy Jones: 23:24
No, that got you a lot of earned media impressions.
Clay Clark: 23:27
Yeah. I think he actually is. Josh, do you have a child on the way now?
We are actively trying at this point.
Clay Clark: 23:34
Oh, I didn’t know if that was the magic elixir needed to make that happen. So, okay. Just want to name that child after me, that love child. Okay.
Clay Clark: 23:44
But things are going well at home and in the business?
Yes, Clay, it is.
Clay Clark: 23:46
Stacy Jones: 23:47
All right. So non traditional publicity stunts, you are a raving fan of. But also you were saying making sure that you actually have a good business, that you’re marketing it well, that you’re walking the talk.
Clay Clark: 24:00
Right. And that’s hard for people to do. It’s hard for people to do a great job because that requires integrity, which is where you want to be indivisible. And you want to do what you say you’re going to do and that’s easy to do that when you feel good.
Clay Clark: 24:13
But when you’re sick, you know you got a head cold, you don’t feel good. The kids are sick, as a small business owner, there’s no sick days. So it’s like do you call in sick to the client and say, hey I can’t install your sprinkler system because I’ve got a tummy ache, like you did at your last job? Or do you show up and do it because you said you would.
Clay Clark: 24:30
And that’s where the integrity comes in and it gets a little bit weird because entrepreneurs, until you have a big enough staff, you’ve got to show up on the sick days. Now, once you have a big enough staff, you can hire people to get the work done when you’re not there.
Stacy Jones: 24:40
Okay. And going back to people, how do you inspire all of these different individuals working within your organizations?
Clay Clark: 24:48
Well, there’s two things. In my previous life, previous career, it was me having a weekly meeting with my staff on Monday and I’d fire them up. It’s very like evangelical but not religious, very charismatic, firing up the team.
Clay Clark: 25:02
And we would, every single week I’d go like a little Tony Robbins conference for the team. And then throughout the week there’s daily huddles to keep the momentum going. And there’s checklists so we don’t miss things. So there’s no cognitive dissonance in our organization. We are doing what we say, we’re doing what we say we’re going to do.
Clay Clark: 25:19
Now, Jonathan who works up in our office, he manages the people and he took the place of what I used to do with little huddles, but he’s like full time devoted to keeping all of these people engaged and then each one of our stores create people like Mana or Angelo or Nick or Yvette.
Clay Clark: 25:37
These people check in with their employees every single day and you want to have one manager per 12 employees. I call it the Jesus principle because even with that principle, you have like a Judas who might betray you or you have a Peter who might deny you, but you still, you just don’t want to have like one person managing a team of 30. It’s a disaster. So make sure that you are budgeting in for a manager.
Stacy Jones: 25:59
For every 12 people?
Clay Clark: 26:00
You got to. I mean if you go beyond 12 I mean it gets weird. One of my mentors, Lee Cockerell used to manage Walt Disney World Resorts and 40,000 employees at the same time. And he talks obsessively about not having more than 10 direct reports or 12. Just don’t, because you pull yourself too thin. People have to engage with their boss.
Stacy Jones: 26:23
What do you think are some of the fundamental, most important processes people put in place for businesses?
Clay Clark: 26:29
The processes you need to is you all need to read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. Everybody needs to read that book. He is a Harvard professor and if you use checklists for everything, checklists and scripts, checklists and scripts, you will have success. If you’re a builder, I would recommend using blueprints. Measure twice, cut once. But a lot of business owners don’t have those checklists because we don’t like them.
Clay Clark: 26:53
And he talks about in his book how surgeons don’t like checklists. Doctors don’t like checklists, but they’re required in certain industries. But a lot of the deaths and if you read Checklist Manifesto, the deaths in major surgery centers, a third of the deaths, fatalities are caused by a surgeon who forgot to wash his hands or forgot to read your chart before giving you the medication that’s supposed to numb you that you’re allergic to, that kills you. And it’s sad.
Clay Clark: 27:25
So you’ve got to use checklists, you’ve got to use checklists. If you have an airplane, use a checklist. Don’t find out you’re out of gas when you’re up in the air. Use a checklist.
Stacy Jones: 27:33
Well, and the checklist also allows you to establish systems and processes, which you’re a fan of.
Clay Clark: 27:38
Stacy Jones: 27:39
Otherwise you can’t mimic it and you can’t grow.
Clay Clark: 27:41
That is 100% true.
Stacy Jones: 27:44
Okay. What is other advice that you would give that you think should be top of mind for entrepreneurs who are listening today?
Clay Clark: 27:51
Well, and I think they should listen to your podcast or a podcast like yours consistently because the mind is what the mind is fed. According to Mr. Schwartz who wrote the book, The Magic of Thinking Big, or your network is your net worth, and if you grow up without money like I did, you’re surrounded by people that don’t know what they’re talking about.
Clay Clark: 28:10
And because nine out of 10 businesses fail, you probably shouldn’t ask the average person for advice. Find people who’ve been to the top of the mountain and say, could you teach me the path? That’s what you should do. Find who’ve already paid the price, have already done it, and go to them and say, I will pay you to teach me, or I’ll listen to the show. Maybe it’s free. I will …
Clay Clark: 28:35
But be aware of a charlatan and a charlatan is somebody who has great stories and great energy, we call it charisma. They’re compelling, they’re exciting, but they don’t have any examples. They don’t have a Josh with Living Water. They don’t have a shahhomes.com. They don’t have a barbiecookies.com. Real things you could verify.
Clay Clark: 28:53
They have a lot of, well, you know, I worked with thousands of clients all across the country and what I do is I help. Well, do you have any specifics? Well, I would hate to give away their actual information because it’s all non disclosure. Be aware of the person with big, big boastful, exaggerated claims of success and who can’t back it up.
Clay Clark: 29:12
And I know it’s rude to ever correct or provide any type of constructive criticism for a host. But I would say as an example for me, I have written multiple successful books that are Amazon bestsellers. I have not yet had a New York Times bestselling book. I have had success on Amazon, but I probably either (a) miscommunicated or something was misread on my part.
Clay Clark: 29:33
But I will say if you verify me, you look up me, look me up right now. Go Clay Clark and anybody who I’ve fired, you can see they have a great time on Reddit talking about me. It’s a fascinating laser show, but you can also read reviews from thousands of real clients.
Clay Clark: 29:47
And then we take it another step further. We have a thousand plus clients who on YouTube have shared their success stories and you just type in Clay Clark reviews and you usually find one person that hates me per 10 just to keep it fair and balanced. But you’ll find thousands of people sharing this crazy guy, this pale male helped me and there was no contract and there was no upsell. I don’t get it. And that’s why it works.
Stacy Jones: 30:12
Well. That’s good. And to the universe for that New York Times bestseller and whatever material you gave me, or we’ve found and tied and that’s your future. That’s what it’s going to be.
Clay Clark: 30:24
That’s what it’s going to be. Throw it out there. We say future New York Times bestselling author. I’ll go with that. I’ve written a lot of books, but the thing is it’s like business owners are weird. Only nine out of a hundred people even start a company and then nine out of 10 fail, so I mean it’s like a 0.008% of the world who’s interested in reading cover to cover a book on how to get exactly to the top of Google because it’s like, this is technical, and this is boring.
Clay Clark: 30:50
But if you can download it for free. Search Engine Domination is the newest book I did with Jonathan Kelly. Search Engine Domination. You can download it for free by going to … John, yell at me the domain. It’s the bestseobook.com. The bestseobook.com, and that’s proof right there. I have no memory, short term or long term. No discernible skills and no looks and yet we do well. There it is.
Stacy Jones: 31:13
You know it’s interesting. I have a literary agent I’m working with and she keeps on saying that people buy books and they only read up to, if you’re lucky, the third chapter.
Clay Clark: 31:21
Oh, looking through this. This is what’s on your mind. I have a friend of mine who was nominated for a Pulitzer prize. He’s at dinner talking to the person who nominated him and he says, what did you like about my book? And he says, I didn’t read it. I just read the reviews. So you nominated me based upon the reviews someone else wrote. Yeah. Now, Pulitzer prize nominee, true story. That’s crazy. People love to buy.
Clay Clark: 31:47
I’m convinced we could write. One of my friends, Jim Stovall, who is a blind man who has become a New York Times bestselling author. Blind man has become a bestselling author, multimillionaire. He writes books with Steve Forbes from Forbes magazine. He wrote the book, The Ultimate Gift.
Clay Clark: 32:04
This homeboy puts his phone number in the book and do you know how many people call him? How many people actually pick up the phone and say, hey, is this Jim Stovall? We’re talking about almost nobody, which blows my mind.
Clay Clark: 32:22
This just in, it’s in his book. You can call him. Everybody can call him. Get the book Ultimate Productivity by Jim Stovall. In there’s his phone number. If you call, which I did, he will pick up. Sick, it’s crazy.
Stacy Jones: 32:34
Yeah, it’s amazing. And I have got to get the sounds that you have. You have a lot of great add-ins for your podcast. Now you’re adding it to mine.
Clay Clark: 32:44
Well, there you go. That’s a sound to celebrate you getting sounds. This just in, she’s getting sounds. I live for sounds.
Stacy Jones: 32:55
That just makes so much more sense.
Clay Clark: 32:58
I wanted to be a Carnie. I wanted to be a Carnie, but they rejected me and I became a DJ as my backup plan.
Stacy Jones: 33:05
There you go. This whole world of yours, who you are, totally coming together now.
Clay Clark: 33:08
To help out the listeners out there, just because you make money doesn’t mean you have to be bougie. You don’t have to be bougie. These shelves behind me are uneven and they’re cut out of wood. They’re live edge and they’re filled with books and the walls are sheet rock painted black with chalkboard stuff.
Clay Clark: 33:25
And then I draw on the walls. I draw a lot of quotes on the walls. Andrew, can you move the camera in to show? I draw on the walls and this is my man cave. Now the rest of the house is nice cause my wife has class and style, but you can live frugally. I encourage you not to, there’s my wall. The things I draw,.
Clay Clark: 33:40
Just kind of pan it really wide so you can see it all. It’s just, but if you then maybe if you open the door, you can see the cave. I don’t think you can do that. Open the door, Josh. Can you open? There’s the cave out there. Can we do it? We have the technology, we have the drive.
Clay Clark: 33:55
There’s my backyard. You see the waterfall and the cave and all. You can, so I mean just, I had to have a house with a cave but I don’t need to have like gold plated chandeliers in my man cave. You can live cheap if you want to.
Stacy Jones: 34:08
Yes. Including with your cave and your pool outside.
Clay Clark: 34:11
That’s right. You can have a lot outside. And then there’s kind of a mullet. It’s kind of like formal outback and party in the front or something, a reverse mullet.
Stacy Jones: 34:20
That’s awesome. So how can our listeners learn more about you? Where should they go? And you had offered The Boom Book.
Clay Clark: 34:27
Yeah, this is what we’re going to do. This is what we’re going to do. How can our listeners, what’s the best way for our listeners to leave a review for you? What’s the best way? Spotify, iTunes. Where do you want that review?
Stacy Jones: 34:36
Clay Clark: 34:37
Okay, so listeners right now can search your podcast right now and leave you an iTunes review. Subscribe and leave this wonderful young lady a review. Leave you a review. If they leave you a review, what I’m going to do is you just screenshot the proof you’ve got to prove. Come on, move those thumbs. I think I’ve got carpal tunnel and I get anxiety when I use my thumbs.
Clay Clark: 34:56
But go to her website, go to iTunes, leave a review, and then send me a screenshot to [email protected] [email protected] thrivetimeshow.com and you can attend one of our in person workshops for 37 bucks.
Clay Clark: 35:10
There’s no upsells, I promise. 37 bucks. You don’t pay $250 or $500. 37 bucks, and the one in December, Michael Levine, the PR consultant for Michael Jackson and Prince and Nike, he’ll be there speaking, sharing how he did it.
Clay Clark: 35:22
The PR guy for Nancy Kerrigan, you know Charlton Heston, he’ll be teaching branding. I mean, this is so sick and I’m getting nauseated. This is a hot deal. Then you can go, Oxi Fresh is one of the businesses I work in. It’s called Oxi Fresh and we just opened up our 400th location, our 400th franchise. Oxifresh.com and our franchise brand developer who onboards all new franchisees, he’s going to be there speaking.
Clay Clark: 35:46
And one young lady, Jill Donovan grew her company Rustic Cuff from two people to no, I lie to you one person, from one person to 125 employees and Jill Donovan will be speaking about how she grew Rusticcuff.com and there’s more, but I can’t tell you about it now. You can leave a review and I think as of right now, there’s 47 seats left. 47 so just leave this fabulous lady a review.
Clay Clark: 36:09
If you don’t do it, I don’t want you to feel bad. I’m not going to say that you’re a bad person. I’m just saying some would suggest that you’re throwing away the great opportunity by not leaving her a review. Even if you don’t come to our conference, leave her a review. Come on.
Stacy Jones: 36:19
I love you. Thank you. I appreciate that. Marketing Mistakes and how to avoid them. Well Clay, thank you so much for being on today. Really appreciate it. You are a lot of fun and you’re great.
Clay Clark: 36:29
Make sure you edit me out of the videos and we’ll be fine. This’ll be a great show.
Stacy Jones: 36:30
It’s all good.
Clay Clark: 36:31
Yeah, just mute me when I talk. It’s a great show. You just mute me.
Stacy Jones: 36:39
So for everyone listening, thanks so much for tuning in to Marketing Mistakes and how to avoid them. I look forward to chatting with you on our next podcast.
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