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This business coaching episode explains why you need to be delusionally optimistic.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Ask Yourself: Have I set up penalties and rewards for my employees regarding their performance?
  • Recommended Reading: NUTS!: Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success - Kevin & Jackie Freiberg
  • How To Keep Team Members Engaged: 3. Implementation and Accountability, Not Ideas
  • Notable Quotable: "For any business to grow, specific individuals must be accountable for each system, and a general overall director must be in charge of making sure all the systems operate at their highest capacity." - Robert Kiyosaki (Author of bestselling book "Rich Dad Poor Dad")

-So for your staff-- you own a DJ service, so let's make it real. -OK. -Here we go. This is welcome to my dojo of mojo. You're going to go DJ for me. You're going to go DJ, and I'm going to pay-- Oklahoma says I can pay you $7.25 an hour minimum. I'm going to pay you $10 per hour minimum. Now if you go and you wow the bride, as in you get a great review from the bride-- you can determine the details of that-- I'll pay $300. But if you jack up a wedding, I'm going to pay you $100 total. And I'm going to give you a warning. You get three of those, it equals you're fired. Now, if you do a great job with wowing the customer, I'm going to give you a bonus. And I'm going to move you into a full time position in addition to getting those checks. That's how we do it. You know what I'm saying? -Mmm-hmm. -If you're late-- I just to fine my guys $80 if they were late for a wedding. Why? Because they won't be late anymore, right? -Mm-hmm. -So figure out a system, but there's got to be a reward-- there's got to be a merit based pay system. Does that makes sense? -Mm-hmm. -Now-- yes, sir? -So you fined them and give them a warning, right? -Mm-hmm. -Absolutely. -Yeah. Now, certain labor laws, certain states, sometimes what you have to do is just tell people they missed their bonus. So you give them a bonus if they do this and no bonus if they don't. But you've got to find a way to do that. Cool merit based pay. Disney has a merit based pay to a certain extent. QuikTrip gas stations have a merit based pay. The book called "The Service Profit Chain" talks about this. Outback Steakhouse has a merit based pay. All the companies give your reward for doing the right thing. OK? Now the third area to keep your staff motivated, and this seems counter intuitive. Your job as the owner is to focus on implementation and accountability, not ideas. Oh, man. So this is the problem. Most entrepreneurs I know run around thinking of new ideas all the time. OK, let's talk about what new idea has Southwest Airlines come up with in the last 20 years. Let's talk about some of their ideas. Idea number one, we're going to make it-- you're going to have free to fly around the country. That's their little motto, right? -Mm-hmm. -So how have they made air travel more free for people? How have they made it more open for most people? -No assigned seating. -OK, let's talk about this. Their core thing is it's going to be low cost and fun. That's their whole thing. OK, there's a book called "Nuts". But everything they do is about low cost and fun. So to get there, they do what? No assigned seats, right? -Mm-hmm. -Then they do no bag charge. You can bring two bags. You what I'm saying? -Mm-hmm. -Then they have always low fares. You see what I'm saying? -Mm-hmm. -That's their idea. They also-- the stewardesses can earn bonuses and stuff for being funny. You know if they're funny they get a chance to earn. That's why if you look on YouTube, you can see their staff being funny. So they encourage bonuses. They do merit based pay where they do a profit share. So the more profit they make, the more they share with their employees. But they're not like having a new idea every day. They're not like hey, maybe we should also make cars. We should serve-- let's get into to the ice cream business, Dave. Wait a minute. How come if $1 billion company-- how come these companies that are $1 billion companies started on one or two big ideas and they just stayed there for 40 years when most serial entrepreneurs have endless ideas and their businesses aren't $1 billion? Do you think they're related at all, the idea that most entrepreneurs are constantly changing ideas and that these people just focus on one? -Mm-hmm. -So you want to focus on your core tasks until success. So if Herb Kelleher who started Southwest wants to go start another company, I don't think anybody would argue with him. But you probably shouldn't do it until you have success. So Richard Branson, he started his record company. Once it was successful, then he got into the next venture. But you don't want to like-- I'm starting a record label and an airline simultaneously, neither one of which is successful. You don't want to do that. Make sense? -Mm-hmm. -So but you have to focus on the implementation and accountability. I'm going to read this notable quotable for you. For any business to grow, individuals must be accountable for each of the systems. And a general overall director must be in charge of making sure that all the systems operate at the highest capacity. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Somebody has to be in charge of making sure that the systems operate at the highest capacity. So what this means is that most entrepreneurs hate following up on anything, even their own ideas. So most entrepreneurs like they-- most entrepreneurs have just an endless series of ideas. They hate following up on anything.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Ask Yourself: Are you spending time fixing the problems of your employees because you are avoiding having a difficult talk with them?
  • Notable Quotable: "If you're going to be honest, you better be funny."
  • Lesson Nugget: Bringing humor into your reprimands will make the employee not feel any resentment while also helping them understand the problem.
  • Ask Yourself: Am I the nice boss who won't directly reprimand my employees or the mean boss who gets too angry too fast?

[MUSIC PLAYING] -Now, when you follow up with somebody, and you say this, you say, Carl. Let's say that we had a ditch digging business. So we have that. And let's say that our business requires that we dig ditches. So here's our shovel. We're digging. As we're digging, if you said, Carl, I want you to dig six feet deep, right? And Carl over here digs a total of four feet deep. And then over here, Ed-- so this is Ed, this is Carl. What if Ed goes five feet 11? Do you have a problem? LOGAN: Uh huh. -How do you tell Ed and Carl that five feet 11 is not six feet without having them all quit? Because most entrepreneurs are like, well, if I tell him how I feel, then they'll cry, and then I won't have any employees. So they run around not-- so most entrepreneurs don't even say anything. So like, well, good job, Carl. Good job, Ed. And then they run in and then they, when Ed and Carl go home, they dig the rest of it for them. You notice this? LOGAN: Uh huh. -It's almost every business owner I've ever met. Ed, Carl, we're all digging six feet deep. And when they leave the job, and it's four feet deep, or five foot 11, the owner will come in and secretly do a little more scooping to make up for it. Why is that a flaw? -It's avoiding the awkward confrontation. CLAY CLARK: And is it scalable? -It is not. CLAY CLARK: So as the business grows, there's only one owner. So eventually, Logan, they're only be one of you, and there will only be one of you who is now busy. Eventually-- in fact, not eventually, but right now, there's one of you. And as it grows, they'll be less of your free time to put out the fires, and now you have a problem. So let's talk to Ed. Let's go talk to Ed. Let's pretend you're Ed. And I give this gift to you. I give this gift to you. Here you go. This is my system. Remember, if you're going to be honest, you better be funny. Honest equals funny. So here we go. Hey, Ed, on the ditch there, did you noticed you were five foot 11 deep, instead of six? -Yeah, I thought it was close enough. -Yeah. Well, here's a good deal. Good news is we're not playing with hand grenades, and if we were, it'd be kind of a dangerous job. But I'm going to need you to go ahead and dig that six feet deep for me. And while you do that, I'm going to write a haiku to celebrate this moment. So while you're digging, I'm going to write a haiku. Let's meet and I'll read you my haiku. Know what I mean? -Uh huh. -Now, I say that, because you're like, what was that? The employee won't feel any type of resentment if I'm just like that. Now, let's talk about how not to do it. Here is the weak sauce boss. This is one of my favorites. Hey, Ed. Noticed that you dug the ditch five foot 11, not six. Were you aware of that? -No, I was close enough. Yeah, you're doing a great job. I just feel sometimes like you just-- I mean, you're doing a great job. You're doing a great job. -Thanks. -Yeah, yeah. Then I come home, I hop into my car, I get home, my wife, where at my house, and I say, these employees won't follow the rules! Gah! And then I see you, and I'm like, how you doing man? -Oh hey. -Hey, day two. Hey, you dug another one of those five foot 11 ditches. Were you aware of that? -Yeah, yeah. -I just need to try your best. And I keep getting more and more. I go back home, I tell my wife, this guy is terrible. But I keep being nice to you, and it builds, and it builds, and it builds, and it builds. And you get worse, and no one says anything. And then, I finally tell you, here's the deal, Ed. This is the fourth time I've told you about it. You're fired today. Well, you're blindsided. You don't know it's going to happen. So now you're crazy mad, and nothing happened good out of that deal. Now, here's the other one. This is Carl. This is Carl. Now, by the way, I was Ed for about three years. I was that Ed scenario, where I would just dance around accountability. Now, Carl, this is the Carl. I became Carl, I became this Carl situation, I became the angry boss situation for about six months, and then I finally figured out how to do both. So here's my new method. This is after I finally fired everyone named Ed who kept missing the mark. Then I went into, instead of being the captain followup-- remember I was kind of weak? But then I got into this like angry face. This is what I would do. Hey Carl, that ditch is four feet deep. Did you notice that? It needs to be six. LOGAN: Yeah, yeah. -Well, you suck at life, and I'm tired of you, and I want to rip your head off, and I-- no, no. That was like every meeting. And then, you end up being like, well, the office is kind of alone again tonight. You know what I mean? And so there's got to be a balance.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: If you cast a great vision, but don't have merit based pay, your staff will remain unmotivated.
  • Lesson Nugget: If you have merit based pay, but don't follow-up with your employees, they will remain unmotivated.
  • Lesson Nugget: As you begin to follow-up with your employees, find the high performers and begin to groom them for management.
  • Notable Quotable: "If you are delusionally optimistic... you will always win."
  • Notable Quotable: "[A business] is like a shark, it either has to move forward or it dies." - Larry Ellison (Founder of Oracle and the third wealthiest man in America)
  • Fun Factoid: The quote, "It is not sufficient that I succeed, everyone else must fail," has been used by Larry Ellison but was originally a quote by the ancient warlord, Genghis Khan.
  • Recommended Reading: Anthem: A dystopian fiction novella first published in England in 1928. - Ayn Rand

[MUSIC PLAYING] -So you have to kick and hug. You've got to come in with firmness. You've got to attack the problem, not the person. But then you gotta hug and say, hey, you're a good guy. I like you. But you just gotta get this done. -Does that make sense? -Mhm. -That's how we do it. -Make sense? -Mhm. -So that, my friend, is how you do it. I mean, that's the whole system. But if you go in here and we say, I cast a big vision, but I don't have merit-based pay, what's wrong with that? -It's not going to go the right way. CLAY CLARK: No one's going to do their job. -Yeah. CLAY CLARK: And if I have merit-based pay, but I am not a guy who likes to follow up, what happens? I mean, if I'm not an accountability guy, I'm a followup guy. If I don't follow up all the time, what happens? -They're going to be blindsided whenever you get fed up and come in and fire them. -And nothing will get done. -Mhm. -So I'm just telling you, you want to follow up, follow up, follow up, every single day I follow up, follow up, follow up. That's all I do is follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up. It's unbelievable. That's all I'm doing is following up. I got to a point recently, where I was asked by someone, what do you do? And I said, I am a professional followup-er. That's all it is. Follow up. You can tell somebody, hey, this is how we do it. OK, well, this is how we do. This is the checklist we want use, OK? Are you using the checklist? Oh, thanks for reminding me. You know? My head was so far up my anus, I couldn't see this checklists. I didn't know. But you had to follow up-- follow up, follow up, follow up. And you just have to stay positive. Now, when you start following up a lot, the person who doesn't need as much followup. They become the? SUBJECT: Boss. CLAY CLARK: Yeah, the next manager. You groom them. Make sense? So you're growing your people. Cool? -Yeah. -Awesome. Well, hopefully that's very helpful for you, my friend. -Yeah. -And again, the one thing I want to leave you with is your business is a big deal. Your life is like a big, big deal. It's huge. You've got one of them. I believe that you're put on the earth-- there's only one of you, and you only got a limited amount of time. So don't dream small dreams. Don't, like, yeah, I'm just a guy in Oklahoma City doing life. I'm not just a guy. I'm just the average guy. Don't do that. Don't think about yourself as average. Become an enemy of average. Just realize, you were part of the earth to do something awesome. And you just have to have that sort of delusional optimism. If you're delusionally optimistic, you're like, I was put on earth for a reason, you always win. But if you are this person who's like, well, I really don't want to frustrate my staff, and I want to frustrate my other competitors. I don't want to take all the business, because they'll get frustrated. You won't get ahead. And what you're going to have to realize, when you started to build this system, is if there wasn't-- Dr. Z talks about this a lot-- but if there wasn't a shark that was eating all of the fish-- if a carnivore, if the shark at the top of the food chain wasn't there to eat all the fish, the coral reef would die. You know what I'm saying? SUBJECT: Mhm. -So you can't feel bad that you're a shark. But if you're going to be successful in business, you have to be a shark. And so I want to leave you with this one notable quotable, which, to me, is sort of a-- I don't know. I love it, and I'm going to give it to you, OK? SUBJECT: OK. -Larry Ellisson, this is the founder of Oracle. He says, "[A business] is like a shark, it either has to move forward or it dies." He goes on to say, "It's not sufficient that I succeed, everyone else must fail." [CHEERING, POPPING] Now, he understands that on a deep level. I want to share this, because we talked about how are we going to grow this business? How's it going to happen? I want to walk you through this, OK? If you are the guy who does ultimately come up with the invention for the light bulb, who did you put out of business? SUBJECT: Candle maker. -Right. So in the book, "Anthem," by Ayn Rand, she talks about this, you will put the candle maker out of business when you invent a? SUBJECT: Light bulb. -Are the candle people happy with the light bulb people? SUBJECT: No. -All right. So you're the person who invents the car, right? You're the first one to invent cars. And for some reason it's a weird car. It's almost like a conversion van car. You invented the U-Haul I guess, OK? But it's a car. You're the first person who invented the car. Who'd you put out of business? SUBJECT: Horse and buggy. -OK. Are the horse people rushing to write you thank you letters? SUBJECT: No. -No. OK. You're going to build this massive DJ business. Are other DJs going to like you? SUBJECT: No. -No. Another example. You're going to have a massive net worth-- massive, massive net worth. Are other people going to start to say stuff, like all you care about is money? Are people in your family, are people on the outside, and they going to kind of go, well, how come he has to take all the money? He's so selfish. Is that going to happen? SUBJECT: Mhm. CLAY CLARK: Yeah. Another example. I drive either a Mercedes or my Hummer. Is it possible for me to drive a big vehicle without upsetting somebody? SUBJECT: Probably not. -Or a nice vehicle? SUBJECT: Probably not. -No. So I'm just trying to explain to you, in order for the coral reef to make it-- because who creates all the jobs, by the way? Do any employees create jobs, or is it the employers? SUBJECT: Employers. -Mm. So if you're an employer, and you upset people, how many jobs do you create as a result of being focused on keeping this customer happy? Because remember, you gotta keep the customer happy-- the linkage. If you keep the customer happy, then how many jobs do you create? SUBJECT: As many as you want. -Right. How many jobs do you create, though, if you make the customer mad? SUBJECT: Zero. -Right. So the customer is the boss. Up here is the customer. They are the boss. And they will fire everyone from the CEO on down. Does this make sense? SUBJECT: Mhm. Yeah. -So when you leave here, don't leave here in Candy Land and Narnia thinking I'm going to hold people accountable. I'm going to have a merit-based system. I'm going to cast division-- and not piss people off. Colin Powell says great leadership sometimes requires pissed people off. OK? SUBJECT: OK. -You got that? SUBJECT: Yep. -Boom. My friend, I appreciate you very much for visiting here and for come from Oklahoma City. And I hope, sincerely, that you, when we start doing our big conferences, you can come out and see us. -Oh, absolutely. -And I just appreciate you and your time. So thanks for Thriving. -Thank you, Clay. -Boom. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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