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-On behalf of all the slow learners in America, I want to chime in on this. Pretend that you used to DJ for me, OK?
ROBERT ZOELLNER: OK. And I think I'd like to.
-I think we would. I think it would be about two weekends of glory. I think you would have just been like a Meatloaf concert meets a wedding.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Oh, my gosh.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: They wouldn't want me to end. Just keep going.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: If I could get married again--
-They'd put a Z on the cake. So here's the thing. What happens is the DJs come out. I'm talking about DJs, people that are entertaining an audience till 2:00 in the morning. They come back from the show jacked. I mean, they're pumped. Like, whoo, this wedding was awesome! You would not believe what happened tonight. It was-- and there's 40 guys all unloading, a place like this, 40 guys all unloading equipment, all simultaneously. And I would always be $1,000 to $2,000 short of cash. Every-- and I was like, what happened?
And I put the cash right there. I'm like-- so I did this for like a year.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: And that's as long as you'd put up with it.
-Yeah, about a year. And finally my wife is like, you know, people are going to keep taking cash unless you make them accountable. And I'm like, whatever. Go meet with a mentor. He says the same thing. I come back to my wife, wife, Vanessa, you're right.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Yeah. Sorry.
-So then, I come back. I say, here's the deal. Moving forward, you DJ a show where you required $150 deposit. And the remaining balance is due at the end of the night. And if you don't return your cash or your credit card receipt, I pay you not. You can't do that. I'm going to. I will not pay you at all. Well, they say it's a violation of labor law. I was like, OK, well, great. We'll average your two shows together, and now you made $8 an hour per show instead of $30, but I'm not paying you.
And if you leave a piece of equipment at the wedding, and you don't come back with it, if it's system number 42 is not back, I'm not paying you. And I remember how mad these guys were.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Oh, yeah.
-They were like, you're crazy. I remember this one guy. He says so you mean you're going to charge me $600 for a speaker? I'm like, yes! That's what-- I had to get a little crazy. So that's a big turnover. And I realized, because I was a bad manager, I attracted bad employees. Is that real?
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Yes.
-Bad manager, bad employees.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Well, I mean the guys that could care less about stuff, that's for sure.
-They started getting-- and I'm telling you about me so you guys can say, oh, I'm not that dumb. So it's like 2005. It's Christmas Eve, and I decided this is operation checklist. It's going down. Everything's going to be-- so the guys came in. This was the first week I had really enforced, Dr. Z. And I said, OK, you have your cash?
Oh, yeah, they never paid me. But I need to get paid tonight. I'm like, to this guy, I'm not paying you tonight. What? Well I quit. Good, go for it. Next guy. Hey, um, do you have your cash? No, I don't. Out of 40 something guys-- I'm not exaggerating. And Jason Bailey was-- he can vouch for this. I think I fired like 18 guys out of like 45 in one night.
What made it doable is that in the DJ industry there's almost no events in January. So they were running off the-- they were walking the plank. But I found is the guys who stayed were diligent and didn't mind being followed up on. They had nothing to hide. They were honest, and they had honest friends, who were afraid to work for us because of all the crazy people.
And then the honest guys-- one guy comes to me, I'll never forget. He says, you know, I would have referred my friends, but a lot of the guys worked up here are kind of embarrassing. And so I appreciate you making that call. And I'm just like, yeah, I needed that little bit of validation. And then now, since that time, if somebody can't produce cash and they can't tell me where it went, and they're wearing the thing on their wrist and they can't tell me where the cash is, I don't get emotional about it. It's just it's a black and white issue. But you had to have money stolen from you at some point, right?
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Oh, absolutely.
-How much money did you have to-- not how much, but how many times did you have to have money stolen from you maybe before you decided, OK, we're going with the wrist thing, with the key thing, and the camera thing. I mean, how big of an issue did it become before you finally were like, I'm not tolerating this?
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Four months into my very first business 20-some odd years ago.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: Mhm.
-In my face. This guy beats me. He sells 1,200 vehicles a day. Four months in, it took me like five years. In my face. It might be--
ROBERT ZOELLNER: It was the craziest thing, you know? You fight-- when you start a business, you don't even think about it. OK, how do I keep my employees from stealing from me? You don't even think about that.
ROBERT ZOELLNER: But when it happens to you, man, it's just like a oof, punch in the gut. And then your mind gets to thinking, well, how do I keep that from happening again? So--
-I know I mentioned I didn't get into Harvard. It took me three times to take my ACT to really get in. And I've determined that the slowest learners are also the slowest earners. And it works the reverse. The fastest learners are the fastest earners. So I am impressed with the speed at which you pivot
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-Now whoever-- when it comes down to the money, there's a quote I want to read from the service profit chain, that again blows my mind. It says, "measuring and establishing facts at every step of the process. Without facts, assumptions and misperceptions will defeat whatever reason and good judgment can be brought to effort." So it's saying you have to get the facts, you have to get the numbers. Do you get a daily number at the end of the day, about how much cash is in or the--
-I have my people text me every day.
-Every day. Every day.
-So good. And how do you turn off that mindset when you come in-- I'm just asking you, as a man, when you come home, because you're like Captain Follow-Up. Your bringing the-- you are following up on the checklist--
-I like that! Do I just salute, or what?
-Well, you're following up on the checklist, you're following up on the managers, you're empowering people, you're constantly pushing and pushing. It doesn't come easy. When you come home, how do you dial it down a notch, so you can still be an awesome husband?
-That is one of the secrets of life that you have to master, in order to have some kind of normalcy about you. And I know this is going to sound silly and cheesy, but it's--
CLAY CLARK: I got to hear it.
- --it's the truth. It's one of my top 10 things of how to be successful in business. Back in the early days, I brought this in and I incorporated this every day into my life. And what would happen is, is that I would be in front of the exam door, getting ready to go in and see the patient. And back then we had paper charts still, now we're wire-- I mean, we're paperless now.
But we had paper charts back then, and I would pull the chart out of the little-- the thing that was in on the door, and I would look at that and I would look at the person's name, and first of all see if it was their first time that they'd been back before, so if I'm supposed to know them. Course in the early days, no one had really been back to me yet. And I would take a deep breath, I would clear my mind as best as I could, and I would say something to myself. I would say, it's showtime.
-I would, and I did it. And that was on my checklist to do every time I'd see a patient, that was one of my things.
-I'd take a deep breath, I'd say OK, it's showtime. And I'd open that door, and I'd walk in that room, and I would pretend like, I would act like, I would feel like, that that was the only person in the world and it was definitely the one person that mattered the most to me. And the fact that my car has a flat out front, the fact that my wife's taking my kid to the emergency room-- just fell and bumped his head or something. Or whatever it was out there that I could have been more concerned about, wondering if that girls out there stealing money from me right now.
Whatever it was, I had clear that, and I had to do what was the important thing to do at that moment. And that follows through, so when I go home, I take that deep breath, and I try to unwind out of everything and open that door and try to be the nicest, best husband, coolest father, and enjoy the moment and understand that that is the most important thing in my life right then.
-Lee Cockerell, the guy who ran Walt Disney World, said this to kind of-- I mean, it goes along with what you said. He said, "you always want to be where you are."
DR. ROBERT ZOELLNER: Yeah.
-And again, sometimes when you go to speak, so I don't get it right away. I'm just kind of marinating. That's powerful, the idea that when with your kids, you're with your kids--
DR. ROBERT ZOELLNER: Right.
- --when you're work, you're at work. It's showtime when you're at work, it's showtime when you're at home. I just-- I love it, it's hard to do. I can't say that both of us do it all the time, but I can say that the most successful people I know do showtime more often than anybody else. They are where they're supposed to be.
DR. ROBERT ZOELLNER: Yeah.
-And i think that's powerful, and so-- coming and wrapping this segment up about checklists, and getting it right the first time. I would encourage you, if you are watching this and you feel like that you're just missing the mark consistently, it's probably because your checklists are a little bit off, or you don't have checklists. Or finally, the big one, is you might not be following up. And I encourage us that we all need to do that.
And I appreciate you being here, because I consider you kind of like a czar of follow up. You're kind of an American honey badger.
-But you're a kind person, I appreciate you sir.
-Thank you, I appreciate you Clay.
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