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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • How To Build A Winning Team - 6. In a Start Up Don’t Hire Your Twin: Hire What You Need
  • Lesson Nugget: It is vital that, from the beginning, you surround yourself with people who have different skill sets than you.
  • Lesson Nugget: You need to have someone on your team who shares the same values and goals, but who thinks differently than you do.
  • “Creative problem-solving works best when harnessed with highly focused and disciplined thought. The trick is being rigorous, but not rigid, in your work. Scientists who study creativity say it is essential to combine two modes of thinking, convergent and divergent, to have creative breakthroughs. Convergent thinking is highly analytical and focuses on arriving at one correct solution given the available data, whereas divergent thinking generates creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. A startup should build in ample time for divergent pathways of thinking to keep the proper creative tension with convergent modes of thinking.” - Business News Daily - 1/14

edtech for human resources, small business ideas

-All right. So now we've got principle number 6-- in a startup, don't hire your twin. Hire what you need. And it's similar to what we've been saying. A recent article in the Business News Daily stated that creative problem solving works best when harnessed with highly focused and disciplined thought. The trick is being rigorous but not rigid in your work.

Scientists who study creativity say that is essential to combine two modes of thinking-- convergent and divergent-- to have creative breakthroughs. Convergent thinking is highly analytical and focuses on arriving at one correct solution given the available data, whereas divergent thinking generates creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. A startup should build an ample time for divergent pathways of thinking to keep the proper creative tension with convergent modes of thinking.

That's a mouthful. Break it down for us.

-The thing is that we're talking about-- we talked earlier the principle about how you have these visionary people, then you have doers. That's true, but it's in other areas. What if you're great at accounting? You probably need to hire someone, then, who-- the next person you hire maybe doesn't have to be good at accounting. If you're a startup, let's be real. Someone has to do accounting. Somebody has got to clean the toilet. That's something that we don't talk about enough on Thrive-- toilet cleaning. That's something we need to do.

-It's a real issue.

-It is. Because a lot of small businesses, someone is like, I don't want to clean my toilet. Someone has to clean the toilet. Someone has to do accounting. Someone has got to update the website. Somebody is going to have to make sales calls. Someone is going to have to make a proforma. Somebody is going to have to make a logo.

So in startups you see a lot of situations where-- let's say there's two guys who are great at videography. They're great at making compelling videos. And they say, hey, we should partner together. You're good at video. I'm going at video. Well, then you're like, well, we need to form an LLC. None of us know how to do that.

So you want to find people that have different skills than you. That's super duper crazy important that you do that from the very beginning.

-How do you do that? How do you do that practically?

-Well, OK. We were building Thrive. I reached out a guy by the name of Bill Shofty. Bill, if you're watching this-- and I know you are, Bill, because you're just constantly watching and helping us improve this thing-- Bill helped scale a business. He was part of a company called HRH Insurance which grew to $2 billion. He's a CPA by trade. He managed almost 1,000 employees at the time the company was sold after it went public.

He talks slow. He thinks analytically. He's like a Caucasian Yoda. He is very philosophical. I made sure that he was the first person and the only person that I talked to about Thrive, because we thought totally different. And so every area that I wouldn't have even thought about, he thought about. Now, we have the same integrity, the same goals, the same aspirations. You have to have the same values.

I want to make sure we see this here. If we don't hammer this, I think we get in trouble here. When I say two different skills, both people need to have the same vision, and they need to have the same values. If you don't have the same vision and the same values, don't work with this person. But Bill brought totally different skills than what I brought on a daily basis.

So I met with Bill every Thursday. This guy-- I cannot begin to express how thankful I was he did this. But he drove two hours from Oklahoma City to Tulsa every week, and he would sit there and ask me the tough questions that I had not thought of and I would never think of. So if you're out there thinking about starting a business, it's very important that you find somebody who's not your twin that can fill in the gaps of where you're weak. Very important.

-I love


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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” - Stephen R. Covey - 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
  • Lesson Nugget: Make sure that everyone on your team agrees with the goals that you have defined for your company.
  • Ask Yourself: Do I enjoy the people that I'm currently working with?
  • Lesson Nugget: Only hire people that fit with the culture that you create for your business.
  • Ask Yourself: What values are most important to me and what kind of culture am I creating in my company?


-All right now, principle number seven, creating the culture you want, finding people who catch your vision early. Now, this is a notable quotable from Stephen Covey, the author of "7 Habits of Highly Effective People." He said, "Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it'll burn very briefly." So what does that quote mean to you initially?

-Well, every business has a vision. Every business should have a vision, at least. And I want to make sure that this is a very specific example. The first company that I started was called DJ Connection, OK? And at DJ Connection, ultimately, this was what I was trying to create, OK?

Now, I love humor. I love "Billy Madison." I think "Billy Madison" is probably one of the cornerstone movies in American history. I think "Happy Gilmore" was great. I think Adam Sandler is awesome. I think Steve Martin is great. I love it. I love humour.

I also love over-delivering, love over-delivering. And I love music, but I like positive music. And anybody here who works here knows if you get here at 3:00 in the morning and I'm here, I'm going to have positive music cranked up. That's what I do. I like over-delivering, and I like humor.

I like funny things. I like to exceed the expectations of people. And I love positive music. I also like self-help. I like the idea that every year is going to be better than the year before. Therefore, anybody who is not driving to where I'm going. Has to get kicked off my bus.


-Now, that's really important though, that I look at that. Because what if you're a really good person, but you're serious all the time. Then you can't work for me-- even if you're a great person. If you're a great person, but you cannot grasp humor, you can't work for me. Someone watching this is like, well, that's offensive. I don't care. Don't work for me, OK? The point is, now, if you have a business that you own, you can create your own culture.

So I know a person who's very, very successfu-- whose name I will not mention-- who is super serious. Everything they do is serious. They're all about integrity. They're all about trust. There are all about-- just very formal. Everything's formal, OK? Now, but as far as the casual-- the actual dress code-- loves casual dress. So he has a business that's serious. It's based on trust. And its casual dress. There is absolutely no music allowed in this office. If you played music--

-You wouldn't survive, man.

-No-- no music. There's no self-help. His belief is that if you don't know how to improve yourself, you need to be fired. I couldn't work for him. Because I can't work for a boss who's not trying to inspire me. I can't work for someone where there's no music. I can't work for a place where it's casual all the time.

I really have a hard time with companies that talk about integrity like, all the time-- freaks me out a little bit. And I can't handle being serious all the time. If I'm not laughing, I'm wanting to get out of there.

So these are both companies that are successful. It's just, for them, they want their employees to kind of look like that-- more of a strict. And for me, I'm a little bit more of the happy guy.

-So we bring this up with hiring, because you have the power to choose your culture.

-And Tony Hsieh, who we mentioned earlier-- a lot of people don't know this-- he started a company called LinkExchange that he sold to Microsoft for over $250 million. And do you know why he sold the company? He sold the company, because he said he didn't like the people that worked there. Just Google it. You can watch it in a YouTube video with him.

He said, he ultimately sold the company, because the people who worked there were not people he wanted to hang out with. He found himself coming to work and being like, I can't stand these people. And he hired them. So if you're self-employed, you got to create an environment where you can thrive. And the only way to do that is to make sure that people you don't like don't work for you.

And then a further example-- if you're a Yankee fan, don't invite a bunch of Red Sox fans over to your party. Just stop it. Just find people who think the way you do. And I know in middle school and high school we're told not to be judgmental. And don't judge people. I'm telling you judge people. Find people that fit your culture, and only hire those people.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • 63% of employees visit non-work related websites daily. And of that, 29% waste one to two hours of work each week on those sites. - Forbes - 7/12
  • Lesson Nugget: Be aware of (and look to fire) the people on your team who do not buy into the vision of your company.
  • “Well, sometimes you just don’t like somebody.” - Henry Ford
  • How To Build A Winning Team: 8. Hire Fast, Fire Fast
  • Action Step: Next time you are hiring, use this short trial period method to determine if they are a good fit or not.
  • Lesson Nugget: Don’t allow yourself to keep someone who you don’t enjoy working with, simply because you fear that there is no one else out there to work for you.

-Well, and even taking this principle a step further. When you do your hiring process right now for Thrive, you cast that vision for Thrive.

-Yeah, exactly.

-And the people that buy into it, get excited about it, you see that look in their eye.


-You know that you're not going to have to come behind them with the whip every day. They're going to be self-motivated because they caught that vision, right?

-Right. Well, and then what happens is, right now is we're growing. I'm taking note. And I look around the room, and people who are not into the vision, and who are like, well, do I have to read this book? I have a lot of books I'm reading right now. You mean I have to read another book? When am I going to find time to read a book?

Then I, mentally I'm like, fire this person as soon as possible. Fire this person. Find a way to fire this person. Let's do the $20 bill test. Hopefully they fail that one. You know, we're trying to find a way to let these people go.


-We are. Because if they don't catch the vision, I want them out of here.

-Well, and it will save you time in the long run. And money. Because a recent "Forbes" study said that 64% of employees visit non-work related sites daily. And of that, 29% waste one to two hours per week, each week, on those sites. And if somebody's just caught the vision of Thrive and is so excited to be a part of this, you're not going to have to be policing everybody's computers, right?

-Well, there was a guy the other day who I had to talk about how he was having a hard time getting his work done. And so I pulled up his internet history, and I just pulled it off and printed it for him. And showed it to him.

-You did that?

-Yeah. It's amazing the conversation we have.


-Because it's just like, what are you doing?


-I mean, you just, you just pull up history. And then you hit the little Command-Shift whatever 4 thing on the Apple. Apple-Shift-4. You screen grab that and you print it off and here you go. And it's a very short conversation, called shut up and get to work.

And it's really-- but this is also a person, though, who you could see the vision is maybe not there. They-- they said it was. They knew how to say the right things. But you kind of caught-- so again, we'll see if that vision aligns. But it's in a-- Thrive is not Narnia. We've got a lot of great people. I'd say 9 out of 10 people who work here, I'm pumped up about.

But just like any business, it's a constant correction. And the way this works is this right here, this is your garden, baby. This is your garden. Here we go. This is my garden, right?


-Well, what happens in a garden when there's weeds?

-Oh, you gotta take them out, man.

-You pull those weeds, man. You get a little bit of that Round Up mess, you know. You get that-- you get that bottle going on here. You get that thing here, and you just start shooting that Round Up and phew, you just kill it all, right there, right? You've got to kill the weeds. So every business, if you see a weed pop up-- you're not weird if you have a weed pop up. You're called a human. But you've got to kill that weed.

-But practically, when you're in the middle of that hiring process, cast that vision. See if they get excited about that. If you can tell that they buy in early, you can save a lot of time here.

-Exactly. If they don't catch that vision and get excited.


-If your vision right now is to build the world's largest basketball coaching facility, and you're like, in the future, we could coach kids from all over the world on the fundamentals of basketball. And if someone's sitting there like, why?

-Yeah. If their eyes don't get big--

-Then you gotta let him go.

-Yeah I fully agree.


-All right, so now moving on to principle number eight.

-Oh yeah.

-This, I think will be your favorite principle. I'm pretty sure this is one your favorites. This is hire fast, fire fast. You alluded to it earlier.


-You talked about how you give people the trial period. I don't think entrepreneurs do that enough. Because it's something you need to take advantage of.

-A trial period. You want to tell the employee, hey, I'm hiring you to come work here for this amount of time. Let's say two weeks or 60 days or 90 days. I recommend in small business, you keep that trial as small as possible.


-So like maybe for two weeks. I'm going to hire you for two weeks. I guarantee I'll pay you during these two weeks. I want to see if you have what it takes. Should you have what it takes, I will continue hiring you. Should you not have what it takes, then I'll move on.

-Right. And so a little notable quotable. This was just one I threw in there just to make you smile, I think. The great Henry Ford once said, "Well, sometimes you just don't like somebody." And sometimes that's all you need. If you do the trial period, and you see they don't match up with my culture. They don't-- this is not somebody I want to be sitting next to. Just let him go.

-There was a guy who-- I'll change his name to Ed.


-And I remember one day I was sitting there. And by the way, I just want to make sure you get the good picture of this. When I started my companies, I had a very hard time with this. So I don't want you to feel like that this is easy for me.


-But I remember--

-Letting people go.

-Yeah. But I remember I was working at my house. It was a home office. Into a home office, by the way, they're coming to your house. So this guy's in my house and he says, "Bro, bro, wouldn't it be awesome if like capitalism, it didn't exist, bro. Because like if we didn't need any money, we could spend our time focusing on, like, helping people."

And I said, "Holmes, how much pot have you been smoking?" And he says, "Bro, that's the thing man. Like it's only illegal because, like, of the legislation. But like the hemp law, the reason why hemp is illegal is because just, government man. But really, it's actually better for you than cigarette smoke."

And I'm like. OK, OK, OK. So let's pretend that I didn't hear you say that. You really do prefer socialism over capitalism. "Yeah, I mean work is just like a drain, you know." And I realized like, this guy is the antithesis of what I am. Everything I stand for, he stands against. So what do I do? I kept him on for like a year.

-Oh, man.

-So every day he's sitting next to me, being like, "Bro, bro. Would it be--" And I'm not exaggerating. He literally talked like this. "Bro. I wrote a poem this weekend. And like this poem I think it just talks about the injustice of American capitalism. Want to hear it?"

-I cannot imagine you having a conversation with this man.

-No, and I kept him on for like a year. And the thing was, because I just felt like there wasn't anybody else out there.


-Like there was this scarcity. Like I could never find an employee. And he knows the passwords. What would I do? I think a lot of business owners who are watching this, they have that dude working for them right now. And I'm saying, if someone doesn't fit your culture, and you've got to move on as quickly as possible. That's why you've got to have that trial period.


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