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-Once upon a time, I worked at Target and Applebees, and I worked at call centers where we sold gas rebates which I'm sure weren't even real. And I know that you grew up without money. So from a practical level, where can I get some nice clothes if I can afford it?
-Well, if you're really thrifty, and believe it or not, I still-- the other day, my sons and I went to the thrift store.
CLAY CLARK: Boom.
-We went to the thrift store because, frankly, my kids are growing so fast that there's no point in spending $200 on a suit that they're going to outgrow in four months. So we said let's go there and take a look. And I was impressed with some of the stuff that they have. You have to be picky, but it's kind of one of those that, what's your goal.
-There's a business called EIRTlounge.com, elephant in the room, it's EIRTlounge.com. One of the owners there, one of the managers there, these guys are one of the most fashionably dressed guys I know--
ARTHUR GREENO: Yeah, they are.
-And they've won awards for their fashion. They get written about in the newspapers all time for their fashion style tips. They go thrift store shopping to find their stuff. So I don't think it's about cost. It's about looking like the boss.
ARTHUR GREENO: That's right.
-Now,as a business mentor how big a first impression can a new employee make on you if they're dressed sharp when you first meet?
-Oh, a tremendous amount. For one, it tells me that they value their job.
-Now, reprogramming the mind. We were talking about to reprogram that thing. How to really program your mind. Every entrepreneur can decide to have the poverty mentality, or the prosperity mentality. Many entrepreneurs who come from nothing battle this poverty mentality. In their minds all the time, I know I did. Can you describe for me what the poverty mentality is?
-I think the poverty mentality is one that there's only a certain amount of things. There's been studies that have shown that there's enough food in the world to feed every single person, but yet you see on TV all these people who aren't eating. And so I have people come to me, friends or whatever, and they say, you know what--
-You're eating too much. Save some for the kids.
-No, they don't say that to me.
-That's what they say to me.
-I have people that come to me and they'll say that there's no good guys left in the world. It's a young woman, there's no good guys. All of them are taken. The reality is, that's not the truth. They may not be looking in the right spot. Where are you going? Well, I'm going to the bar to look for them. Well, maybe that's not the best place to go look for the good guys you're wanting. Where would a good guy hang out? Well, maybe at church.
Maybe you should go to church. But it's a mentality of there's only a certain amount of things. When, if you flip that around, there's always enough of everything. There's enough money in the world to take care of everything. There's enough food in the world to take care of everything. There's enough of everything out there.
-So at some point in your life, you had to make that switch from the victim to the victor, from the poverty to the prosperity mentality. When did you do that?
-Well, when that really happened was when I went off to college. When I was in high school, I started making the baby steps. I started surrounding myself with a better people, and started kind of seeing things from a different view. But when I was in college, it really became-- when you have no money and you're trying to put yourself through school and working three jobs, you really get to the mindset of can I do this? And then you have to start figuring out a way to make it happen. And we would do all kinds of crazy things. For me, I did all kinds of crazy things to stay in my school.
-Well, for example, when I was going to college, I worked three jobs, and I would give plasma. And so I would work 40 hours a week at Chick-fil-a, as much as I could, then I would work at a gas station two nights a week. And then on Sundays, I would work-- there was a church, and I would work at the church and do stuff for them. And then when I was trying to study, I would go give plasma, because it took a couple hours to give plasma. So I would study while I was giving plasma, and I would use that money to gas my $200 car.
-You were practically like having two jobs-- plasma while reading.
ARTHUR GREENO: Pretty much.
-Is that a success tip you'd like to encourage the Thrivers out there to maybe give some plasma?
-The thing for me is, you do whatever it takes. Even when I was with Chick-fil-a, when I was very first with Chick-fil-a, I wasn't earning a whole lot of money. And my wife and I said, you know what? We want to go to each other some Christmas presents. So what did we do? We went and gave plasma so we can give each other Christmas presents. And I remember telling the guy-- he said, what is your job? And I said, I'm the owner of Chick-fil-a at Eastland Mall. And he was like, shut up. And I was like, no, I'm serious. And he goes, no. Shut up. He didn't believe me. And so I had to show my business card. But the thing is that, if you want success, you have to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
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-I know that there was a time in my life when I worked at Applebee's. I was working at Target. I was trying to get an internship at Tax and Accounting Software. I drove 45 minutes a day, every day, to Okmulgee and back from Okmulgee, Oklahoma-- tourist capital of the world-- to study, at Oklahoma State Okmulgee Technical College. And I know that I had the Target, I had the Applebee's, I had that trip, my wife and I shared a car-- there's all these stories. And we're just one of thousands of people like us that have done these sorts of things. And I think it's not about resources, but it's about being resourceful. And it's about doing whatever it takes. And I think that's exciting.
Now, what could an entrepreneur do every day if they want to create and sustain the prosperity mentality? I they're like-- a little bit going back to scarcity, a little bit into that poverty, a little bit into that?
ARTHUR GREENO: What can they do? What
CLAY CLARK: What could they do to stay positive?
-They can give. I read a study the other day that said, "When people give, they feel rich." I know that's contrary because you may not have a whole lot of money, but you know? There's always something you can give, whether you can get that homeless guy a dollar each day. You feel good about yourself, and it;ll help you get that mindframe of-- I'm rich. I encourage people to, when they go to a drive-through or a coffee place, pay for the guy behind them or something. It releases endorphins and makes you feel better about yourself and, in essence, gives you that confidence.
-I've noticed, too, for me, enveloping myself with positive people, where I try to encounter positive people as much of my day as possible. So before I knew these people, it was like I'm going to read Dale Carnegie in the morning-- his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, and at night I am reading John Rockefeller, and I'm going to watch biography when I get a chance to watch that. And I just was positive, positive, positive, positive, positive.
And it sounds like you're saying give. But there's things you can definitely do to maintain that positive mentality. I think it's just absolutely huge that you're very aware that you have a prosperity mentality.
-And when you look at this, you gave a couple examples, and I gave different examples. There's no limit on all the different things you can do to get that mentality. You know what? Sometimes it's just about trying things.
-Success authors, many of them, have written that your mindset is kind of like a computer. Basically, if you put garbage in-- if you put a bad software program on your computer-- you'll ruin that guy. You'll get garbage out. It seems weird that you can just download software and ruin a computer. But how can you reprogram your brain if you know that your computer needs to be cleaned off?
If you're watching right now and you know you've got some garbage in your brain, what can you do to restart your computer anew, to renew your mind?
-Well, I think part of it is just start filling it with the right things. What are you reading? What are you spending your time on? What is your energy on? If you're spending all your time-- and I'm going to pick on reality shows-- watching reality shows, where all the people are arguing back and forth on a regular basis, when you could spend that time reading a book that's going to-- well, like you were talking about, How to Win Friends and Influence People. That's a great book to get you the mindset of success.
-I know that for me to put the garbage out and to put the good stuff in, I have to ask myself-- is what I'm learning right now helping me get closer to my goal? Is the conversation I'm in right now helping me get closer to my goal? Is the movie I'm watching helping me get closer to my goal?
I say goal-- spirit, mind, body, relationships, finances. Is the conversation I'm having helping me have a better marriage? Is the conversation I'm having right now helping me become a better friend? Is the conversation I have helping me? And if the answer is no, I try to peace out. I try to get out of there. I try to change what I'm doing. And I think it's important that we do that.
Now, the power of words-- it doesn't matter what study you read or what success magazine you get the tip out of, every entrepreneur that I know is very aware of the power of words. As an entrepreneur, whether you say negative words or positive words can affect you. How is that? Why is that?
-One quote I love is "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." And when you're speaking positive words into their life, it doesn't just edify them, but also it edifies ourselves. I know that it's the self-talk that we tell ourselves. It used to be when I would mess something up, I would be like-- man, you're such an idiot. And sometimes I still feel that way.
But yet you have to change your mindset on where you're putting your energy. It's not that I'm an idiot. You know what? I made a mistake. OK, what cam I learn from it? And that's constantly what I'm looking for.
-You've discover what you're constantly looking for. You're looking for positive words that are going to help you?
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely. The people that also don't use positive words, they suck the life right out of the room. As soon as I said that, one of you guys that's out there, you guys thought of someone in your life that sucks the air out of the room.
-I notice that there's people that will walk into a room, a doctor's office or an elevator or at your home, and they can just take that room down.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-How are you doing? Ah, man, things are getting bad. Things are getting worse. And here's one challenge that I have for every entrepreneur who's watching this. Do you talk about the future in positive terms, or do you talk about the past, only, in positive terms? It's like-- well, the good old days-- Do you believe that every year can be better than the last?
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-Or do you believe that last year was the best it's every going to be? And I think those are some things you can ask yourself.
Now, how can saying of positive or negative words affect your decision to hire or promote somebody? Say you have a guy who says negative words on the floor or says positive words on the floor. How does that affect your determination as to who you should promote or hire?
-Well, for one, as a leader, it's your job to inspire people. That's part of what your job is. John Maxwell says the definition of a leader is influence-- period. Unfortunately, you've got stinky leaders who are going to tear your team down. You need positive leaders. For me, if I see somebody using those positive words and encouraging people, for one, they're going to get their job done faster. They're going to get it done better. They're going to get it done and have better results.
-Have you ever promoted somebody-- like two people were the same, quality-wise, in terms of their actual ability to do the job, but one person is positive and other person's negative?
ARTHUR GREENO: Yes.
-So you have promoted people for being positive?
-Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Because, frankly, they're the ones that step up.
-How can positive or negative words affect your ability to raise capital? If I'm an entrepreneur right now and I want to raise capital for my business, to start it or grow it, how could negative or positive words affect that?
-Well, when you're positive and you're thinking those things, whether you're standing near a mirror and going-- you're good looking-- I say this kind of joking, or whatever, but you're saying those positive things. When you walk into that meeting for capital, you're more confident about what you're doing. If that person walks in there and they've already shot themselves down before they even got out of the car, they're going to walk in there and-- everybody puts out an energy. You know how somebody walks into the room, and you're like-- that guy's got it together?
The same goes for the guy who walks in and goes-- that guy doesn't have anything going on for him. And it's not about judging. You can feel it.
-What about the old yawn guy, the guy who shows up to your work meetings and yawns all the time?
-It drives me crazy. He certainly affects you, because then what? Everybody around him is yawning.
-I'll be real. It pisses me off, people yawning all the time at work. It affects the people around him. I love the guy who's always clapping, or he's excited, or he's like-- hey, man? How are you doing? I like the guy who brings that energy.
-The reality is that's a choice. They going to make the choice on am I going to exert that energy to go-- hey, how's it going? Or am I just going to sit there and go hey. It takes a little bit of effort. I think that it's important that the successful people are the people that are willing to put the effort in.
-I've noticed it a lot of times with you. I've seen you do some huge events. I remember about two years, maybe a year and half ago, you did your first hamster ball race, where you bought all these massive hamster balls-- what, they were about six feet tall?
ARTHUR GREENO: Nine feet tall.
CLAY CLARK: Nine feet tall. You shipped them in from China?
ARTHUR GREENO: I did.
CLAY CLARK: You shipped them in crates, they showed up here, and then people could race inside these hamster balls to raise money for charity. And I saw you. You'd probably been up all night the night before. I saw you. It was cold.
-It was cold.
-You'd been up late. And I know that you decided to be positive. I said, "How are you doing, brother?" And you're like-- great! Things are taking off. Can you imagine if when the media interviewed you-- because the media, they put the cameras right on you that day-- and they say, "How are you?"
And you're like-- well, I've been up all night. I just hope I make it through it. It's not a story. It's not something people are excited about.
-You chose to speak those positive words.
-And that's why that event was successful.
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