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This business coaching course provides information to help entrepreneurs avoid failure.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • 15 Most Common Reasons for Failure: 1.) The entrepreneur is an excuse maker.
  • Lesson Nugget: No matter what the problem is you have to look at yourself and say it is my fault.
  • 15 Most Common Reasons For Failure: 2.) The entrepreneur is a blamer.
  • "Ultimately as the owner it's on you, so how do you solve the problem? How do you fix it?"
  • Lesson Nugget: Don't make excuses, start reinventing.
  • 15 Most Common Reasons For Failure: 3.) The entrepreneur is dishonest.

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-Hello, my name Clay Clark, and I am the CEO of thrive15.com. And today we are joined with Deedra Determan, the outstanding momprenuer and business mentor who started a business in her home that started grossing $70,000 a month of revenue before she sold it. And she's going to be teaching us a little bit about the 15 most common mistakes that cause entrepreneurs to fail. And the idea is, if you learn these 15 causes of failure and you just cross it off your list and commit to not doing these things, your chances of success go way up, up, up.

So again, as you're watching today's episode, it could be worth millions of dollars to you. It could be absolutely priceless. But you have to pay attention to our business mentors, and take some notes, this could change your life.

Remember, at thrive15.com, we all believe that knowledge without application is 100% meaningless. As you're watching today's episode, take the time to ask yourself what can you do to uniquely apply these principles in your own life and business. Otherwise today's episode may just prove to be more meaningless than having a tauntaun on Tatooine.

-All right, Deedra, we are here to talk today about the 15 most common reasons for failure. Not a fun subject, not really uplifting. But it's one where if you go, well, note to self, that's probably something I would have done or am doing. And some of these, I'll be happy to throw myself under the bus when I get to one of these that pertains to me.

But we all, every day, wake up with a set of matches, and then we go, swish, and we set ourselves on fire, and our businesses just burn because of stupid things that we do. And in life, a lot of what we do, obesity, teen pregnancy, violence, divorce, anger, so many things are self-inflicted. And we're going to go through some of these things that are causing business failure, because we have to look at our at ourselves and figure out, are we the root of these problems? And how can we treat the root so we get better fruit? So here we go.

Character trait number one. Again, these are the kind of things that create dysfunction for the entrepreneur. Character trade number one for the dysfunctional entrepreneur, the 15 reasons for failure. The entrepreneur is an excuse maker.

Why aren't sales good? Well, you know, the economy. I have one guy that used to work with, no matter what time of the year it was, there was a reason for it based upon the calendar.

Well, it's before the holidays, people just don't buy. After the holidays, people are not going to buy. The weather in February is just, people stay in. March, people are out, they are at the lake, they're going out with their kids. June, well, summer's hot, people aren't coming in. It's just that constant.

How have you been able to fight that trait? As an entrepreneur, every once in a while I want to make an excuse. How have you been able to combat that?

-I think you have to reinvent. So, yes, there there's excuses. And I think the path you may want to be going down may turn a course, and you have to reinvent what you're doing.

So if sales aren't working, then why? Do a sale during that month. Is there a way that you can do something to combat the competitor at that time?

-But you're saying, kind of, if it's going to be, it's up to me. I mean, you're basically saying, I've got to look inward.

-Inward. Yeah, and reinvent, the business, the product, the course you're going.

-If you're an entrepreneur, I'm telling you right now. No matter what the problem is, you have to look at yourself and say, it's my fault. Just this morning I talked to a guy who has an employee who is a troll. Like a little troll in the office.

And he is just being disruptive. He's in the staff meeting, psst. He's talking back. I don't want to do that job. He's just ridiculous.

Then he comes up, after showing up late to the staff meeting, could you pay me for the meeting? Just crazy. I was explaining to him that the reason why he works there is because you hired him. And I've hired people that too.

So you've got to fire him. Promote him, as Arthur Greeno would say, to customer status. Instead of talking about him, let's talk about what we can do.


-It's that whole no excuse thing.

-No excuse.

-Second character trait that will lead to dysfunction for the entrepreneur, and failure, is the entrepreneur is a blamer. A little different from excuse. Excuse is just saying, no matter what the problem is, it's some other thing. But a blamer is like, you, you, you camera guy, you sales guy. It is you people.

How do you fight the thing about being a blamer? As a leader of a business, when you grew your company, how did you do that?

-Well, ultimately, if it's your business, I think it's you. It's you. It's your people, it's your system, it's your environment that you've created, so I think you have to look at that.

-So you don't blame.

-No, I mean I think everybody has a tendency to blame, if certain things go wrong, on people. But I think ultimately, as the owner, it's you. So how do you solve the problem, how do you fix it?

-Now if we move on to character trait number three, this is one that's tough to fix. The entrepreneur is dishonest. I'm going to give you an example of a dude, we'll call him Marvin. We'll just say it rhymes with Marvin.

But Marvin would go around town, he'd be like, you know, I'm investing in these houses, and if you put in money I can guarantee you 40% return on the house. And you'd say, well, how could you guarantee 40% return on a house? Oh, It's easy, what I do. Well, it's a very complicated system, Mr. Clark.

But what I do, I'll put that money in, that money's then reinvested on the secondary market. In the secondary market we get more houses in bulk. We take that bulk revenue and we distribute it. It sounds like a Ponzi scheme.

Like, you take money, and then as soon as I put in money, you give that money to the guy who put in money before me. And you keep this going until you run out of investors. And he's like, nope. Then I say, OK. And he started to say, well, what are you doing this weekend?

And here he makes up a story about his weekend. And you start to see dishonesty in his stories, dishonesty in his presentation, dishonesty-- and you realize that he's dishonest. Once you've destroyed that honesty, it's hard to work with anyone. Right?


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • 15 Most Common Reasons For Failure: 4.) The entrepreneur is lazy.
  • Lesson Nugget: The most successful people are the hardest working.
  • "...early rising is a common trait found in many CEOs." -Forbes Article
  • 15 Most Common Reasons For Failure: 5.) The entrepreneur is convinced that he/she knows it all.


-Have you seen dishonesty destroy entrepreneurs?

-Oh, I have. Yes, I have.

-Can you give me an example in sort of a general sense, not to incriminate anyone we know. We're not gonna be like, Steve, this is what you did. What is a--

-You know, I've seen people break up, as far as like business partners break up because of dishonesty. And I think it's funny, because when we were starting 918moms.com, I remember my parents saying the number one thing is are they an honest person? And do they have the same morals and values as you?

And that, really going into business, that's not my first thought. It's like, oh, you know, they're really good at doing xyz. And I'm really good at this. So it's a perfect partnership.

But I think thinking that honesty is the foundation for everything.

-Just as an example, I have a guy that I worked with who really mentored me a lot. He was the COO of a massive company. Oil and gas. He keeps the door open when he meets with any ladies, door wide open, to the point where he's talking about taking doors off of the executive offices, because he doesn't want there to ever be accusations of dishonesty.

I know without accountability, there's problems. I can't tell you though, I mean, I'm just being honest about dishonesty. I bet you 3/4 of the businesses that I hear that have a problem, it's because of dishonesty.

-Yeah. I believe that.

-Very little because the marketing's not good. It's internal stuff going on. So again, if you want to set yourself on fire, make sure you're honest.

Next character trait that'll actually blow up your business-- number 4. The entrepreneur's lazy. Now this is what I hear a lot. I'm just delegating. I'm trying to build up people. Bro, you're at Sea World at 2:00 every Thursday, Wednesday, Monday, and you're not delegating.

No. I'm delegating. I'm dealing with people. Bro, you haven't checked your inbox for like two months.

No. Bro. I'm delegating.

Bro you haven't paid me. I'm your staffer. You haven't paid me on time.

Bro, I'm trying to teach you to like live without. You know what I mean? How do you deal with the lazy entrepreneur?

-I'm not-- yet lazy is probably my number one pet peeve of anyone in the world. So I don't have a lot of tolerance for lazy. I don't think you can be an entrepreneur and be lazy. I really don't.

But you've seen somebody try to be a lazy entrepreneur.

-Right. It doesn't work. It doesn't work.

-What about like, mommy and daddy. They're like, well, we'll just give Billy a big pile of money. And Billy will open his business.

Have you seen that?


-And then Billy just flounders.

-Comes for money. Which is great. It's a blessing. And then they go out and try to be in the real world and do business deals. And businesses deals aren't done like that. You have to work for it. And for anyone to say you got lucky-- you know, you've been so lucky. Look at these businesses you've grown and it just falls into your lap.

And you're like, you didn't see the twelve-hour days I was putting in. And all the hard work.

-I'll say this. As a young entrepreneur, I know I've been guilty of being stupid. But I will tell you, if you meet someone in their forties who's maybe not from a different planet, and they believe that people got rich through luck, they have a mental disorder. Cause everyone I've ever met who's a wealthy person works their butt off.


-I'm just being real. On the Thrive team, funny group of people we have here. Text message. 4:30 in the morning. I look. I get up at 4:00 in the morning so I can get in my bath and read my books. Don't text me. I look at-- Thrive member texting me. Hey, good morning. Hey. Want to check in on you. Hey. 4:30, 4:45.

All these people are up at 5:00, 6:00, 4:00. I'm like what? So I'm like, I'll get up at 3:00 so I can outdo you. Pretty soon I won't even go to sleep. I'll just be up for days.

But it's funny. The most successful people are the hardest working.

-Yes. And I think they get up early. That's actually a trait. I just read that in an article.

-Yeah. They get up early.

-They get up early and start their day. Very ritual. Get up and do the same thing. Get started.

-And what's funny is in our house we have our bedroom adjoins our bathroom. So when I get in the bath and turn on the lights--


--and I'm getting ready to read my stuff, my wife is forced to wake up. And she is so bitter about it. And so that's kind of in my dream list here, we used to have a place with a super big bath. This place has a bigger house, but less bath. But we'll get there.

But that's like a deal where I get up now at 3:00 or 4:00. And she does now too. So it's interesting.

Now moving on here. Character trait number 5. This is something that'll just make your business dysfunctional. It will blow up your business. The entrepreneur is convinced that he or she knows it all. Now have you seen this happen?

-I have seen that happen.

-Talk to me about this.

-Yeah. That never works. No one knows it all. No one can be an expert in every area. So I think you've got to lean on other people to be that expert.

And the most successful people I've seen, they know their flaws right away. I mean, I'm not an accounting person. I don't like accounting. I don't want to look at spreadsheets.

Now I like sales numbers coming in. But actually, figuring out. So you have to lean on someone that's good at that.

-What about that false humbleness, too. For like an example, like some business owners are like, well, my biggest weakness is I'm awesome. And it basically is tough to deal with [INAUDIBLE]. It's tough with them. There's people who do that to you, right? You gotta be real about it.

-You have to be real, and know what you're good at. Your strengths and your weaknesses.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • 15 Most Common Reasons For Failure: 6.) The entrepreneur has all of the facts, yet still will not make decisions.
  • Lesson Nugget: Only seek advice from people that you know are legit; people who know what they are talking about.
  • "If you can't make quick decisions and move on, I think that will be the death of your company." -Deedra Determan
  • Lesson Nugget: People don't respect a leader that can't make a decision.
  • "If you're going to fail, fail fast." - Clay Clark


-Well, I tell you what, I'm not big on patience. And plus patients and a lot of European dentists. People in Europe probably like that one. But anyway, I have very little patience. I definitely, definitely have no tolerance for laziness.

(WOMAN): Yeah.

-I definitely do not like to have math conversations. I definitely don't like planning. I like doing.

(WOMAN): Yeah

-So I've got this whole list of weaknesses I have. I know you've got weaknesses. We all have them. And so we just have to hire somebody to help us or ask mentors or-- but real quick, once we're convinced that we don't know it all, we need to be careful to only ask people who know what they're talking about. Right?


-Because everyone will give you an opinion, won't they?

-Yeah. Definitely.

-I see a lot of entrepreneurs who ask their staff for opinions on things that they don't need to ask their staff about. Like, guys, do you think we should clean the bathrooms? No, boss, I think it's cool.

OK. I mean, you don't ask your staff you should clean your bathroom. So you need to be careful where you're getting this information from.

Now, character trait number six, the entrepreneur has all the facts yet still will not make decisions. So it's usually you can tell if this is you. You'll say, let's table it.

And then we will think about it. We'll circle back. We'll come on back. We'll circle. We'll come back. We'll put in on there later. We can we talk about it later. I'm going to discuss.

A lot of men go, I want to talk to my wife. A lot of women say, I'll talk to my husband, which is code for I'm not talking to anyone.

-Right Put it off.

-In Oklahoma we pray about it a lot. Anything at all. You want to go out to Sonic? I'm going to pray about it. Do you guys want to go out for dinner? I might pray about it. Do you want to invest in my company? I'm going to pray about it. I could never think about it again, but I'm just going to pray about it. Or, if you're in the East Coast, it's like, you know what? We'll circle back. We'll come back to it. I'll get back with you. I'll get back. It's just different. Have you seen this happen a lot with entrepreneurs? You're in there coaching them and they don't make decisions?

-Yes, a lot. I've had a boss like that. And whether you're in a corporate world or an entrepreneur, if you can't make quick decisions and move on, I think that it could be the death of your company.


I mean, your staff is looking to you to make that decision. And let's go this way-- this way. And you have to-- I'm from the world of you got to move fast. If you're doing a startup, new company, first out, first to the punch. So you've got to make quick decisions and move on.

-Big deal in entrepreneurship here, kind of a little bonus one hear for you, is we always have to define what we want to do. Then we have to just act. Then we have to refine it. And then so you define, you act, then you refine. And you just keep doing this over and over and over. And this is what you do.

And the people who get stuck in this endless defining and this endless refining never act. And the people get upset. It's just a bad deal. And I see it all the time.

And I think it's super important that you hurry up. If you're going to fail, fail fast.



(WOMAN): Right

-I mean, just get it over with. And it's huge though. We have to try and move on. Building this studio-- can you kind of pan around for a second in the studio just a-- we'll go up to the top here.

Building out this studio, I never built a studio. I brought in people. But that wood beam over there, I love that wood beam by the turntables and my water bottle collection.

I love it. I love the Coke sign. I love the lighting on it. But there's things we didn't like. And we just had to try stuff.

I mean, I've never bought an illuminated Thrive sign before. I don't know if you guys remember, but the first one we put in here was nasty. And you just trial and error.

But the guy who was like, well, well, we'll get back with it next week. I'm just like-- this is what I said. I finally got to the point. I said, let's just by the crappy sign now. And they're like, well it might work. I'm like, let's buy in and I'm going to plan on it not working. But at least we'll have it decided in the next two days.


-And that's as an entrepreneur, you're going to have to-- it you can't make a decision you just paper, rock, scissors and you go. It's huge. For 918Moms, when you're growing this big old website and you couldn't make a decision, did that ever happen? You couldn't make a decision, and then you just--

-No. I didn't make the right decision all the time. But I'm a pretty quick decision-maker.

-But you always made a decision.

-You have to make a decision. And I think your staff will respect that. You don't respect a leader that can't make a decision. Even if it's wrong and I'm-- you'd be the first to admit. That wasn't the best idea. That wasn't the best decision. But we're moving forward this way.

-I've heard it said in entrepreneurship, if you can make 6 out of 10 decisions right, you're OK. I mean, if you're like the man or the woman, if you can do six out of 10.

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