This business coaching series will help you embrace the emotionally painful aspects of birthing a business.Sign Up to Watch
Interviewer: All right, Thrivers, we are talking about stage one, which is giving birth. You have to formalize your business plan, raise the capital you need, create your logo, create your website, create your initial marketing materials, and then go out there and see if the world is even willing to pay for the solutions you provide. Clay Clark, the world's best business coach, please explain that process of giving birth. Clay: Here's the deal. When you-- you have a child, but I can't. I'm not, obviously, a woman, I don't know what that's like. My wife had five kids, and because she did, I'm like "I'm sorry I did that to you, and I'm sorry that that had to happen, and anything that you want to do henceforth, it's justified." Sometimes, if she gets to that level where she's like... Interviewer: My husband gave me a similar speech, too. Clay: You gave birth, so henceforth you're kind of a hero in my life. Here's the deal. When you start a business, it is painful emotionally. Interviewer: That's so good to hear. Most people don't talk about that. Clay: It's painful emotionally. Interviewer: Painful emotionally. Why is it so painful? Clay: Building thrive15.com as an example. I was building it, we had this team, one person in my team goes "Let's take a team photo of everybody who's on the team, because that's such a good team." I said "Let me tell you something. You see the people in the people in that picture?" He said "Yes." I said "All the people in that picture will not be here, 36 months from now, with an exception of the diligent." They said "What do you mean?" Every person will be held accountable to doing what they say, and those who do that will be paid well and will be here. The ones who do not will be fired, because the customer's not willing to pay for an inferior product. That picture we still have, well, let's just say that it came to reality. We weren't out there firing Lee Cockerell, and I'll tell you what. Lee Cockerell ran Disneyworld because he's diligent. We're not out there firing doctor Zelner, because he's diligent, but I'll tell you what. We went through some people, because in the videography world if you have a video skill, there's thousands of people like you, but you've got to be diligent, and be a part of a startup. That's growing pains. Someone says "There's no systems, the systems are changing all the time." Yes, because it's a startup. Interviewer: Right, it's the beginning. Clay: Right? "I have to travel all the time, when you hired me, you never said I would have to..." One guy, he goes "You never said I would have to travel. You said 'I want a videographer to record in the studio.'" I'm like "Bro, I had no idea that Michael Lavine, the PR guy, the PR representative for Michael Jackson, Nike and Pizza Hut would ask for us to come out to him, and he happens to live in California. I did not know that would happen, that is a good thing." Interviewer: Yes, we're going. Clay: "Well, I just don't like to travel," guess what. The picture's changed, but the mission remains, so the birth pains that-- you want to have a child? Oh, really? Asking you a little personal question. Interviewer: Yes. Clay: When you wanted to have a child, was there a minute when you were having a child, where you didn't have a child anymore? Interviewer: Yes, definitely. You have that moment where you're like, "What have I done?" but it's too late. It's like "We're here, it's got to go." Yet you're wondering how's a Cadillac going to drive through a lemon, and the lemon's going to still be intact? I don't understand, you know? Clay: Visuals are amazing. What about two months before the baby's here. Did you ever feel like-- did ever look at O'Neal and go "Look what you've done." Interviewer: Yes, I think I actually, and this is a true story, actually belly-bumped him about two months before. I was just mad and he was on my nerves, and I used it as a weapon to get ahead of my way. I was very cranky and irritable and swollen, so yes. Clay: Here's the horrible part every entrepreneur has to go through. Let's go ahead and go into it. One, you've got to make a business plan. We have this thing called a pitch deck. Want to make sure you put a link up to it. We have a pitch deck, we'll make it available for all the Thrivers, okay? Interviewer: That's the first thing. Clay: You want to have a business plan, AKA a pitch deck. The best one in the world was outlined by Bessemer Capital, and we have it, it's in a book called Pitching Hacks by Naval. We'll put the book title there, Pitching Hacks, but we want to make sure that you have that available. You want to follow that template, it's huge. The next is that you have to raise capital. Do you know what it's like going out there and asking people AKA begging? Interviewer: Yes, that's what I was going to say, how does that go? "Give me a little?" Clay: If you're on a street corner, it's what you did. If you're on a street corner, let me get my street cred just real quick, because this is what happens. If you're out there on the street corner, what you do is you start to say "Look at me, I'm the amazing, I'm playing the bucket," while your buddy's playing the trumpet and you're playing and no one's giving money, so one of your dudes is like, "Hey, real quick. We probably should ask for money." Your guy's like "No, we're just going to keep playing we don't need-- I'm not going to ask--" and then pretty soon someone's like "I'm so hungry," and then someone all of a sudden probably goes "That's it. We're going to start asking," so you say "Hey, guys, if you could donate, if you'd be willing to donate..." Let me tell you what, on the third day, this is how it happens. Pretty soon some guy's like "Please give us some money, I have got to feed my family," and some guy walks up and goes "Stop begging, and here's a dollar." Then someone else is like "Get a freaking job." Someone else says "You know what your song reminds me of? Vomit." Then pretty soon you start to say "Okay, ladies and gentlemen, up next we have an amazing show. If you've ever been to New York city, you've seen this show. This is a live street performance. This is what we're going to do. If you are amazed with the audio wonderment of tonight's performance, you, my friend, are going to give us a cash donation. Everybody, we're going to start this amazing--" You watch these street vendors in New York city, they know how to hustle. They do know how to work it. They are able to get a big crowd and they start to get people to cheer for them, and they get hundreds of people to give money all at the same time, but that is not a natural thing. You start off playing the buckets or the drums or the horns, and you have to learn to-- If you've ever been to New York city, you've seen this. You start to learn how to gather a crowd, how to get the audience to cheer. You do rhetoricals where you're like "Everybody, when I say this, you say that" and everyone starts-- If you go to New York city, and you go to Time Square and you watch this, there are street vendors that know how to hustle. I'm telling you, at first it's like asking, then it starts begging. When you are raising capital, it's like begging. Nothing is more uncomfortable than asking and then getting no. You have not because you asked not, but you also have not because your business plan's terrible. Then you go back and fix your business plan, then you ask again and again. You go back in that cycle of refining your business plan, asking, and finally someone says-- Literally, I had one investor that says to me "If I do give you $50,000, do you promise to never ask again?" Interviewer: Really? Clay: Yes. Interviewer: What did you say? Clay: I said "Yes, absolutely," and he goes "Okay, I'll meet you tomorrow." Not kidding, that's one of my investors I got. First that's how you have to start. Next thing is, you have to create your initial market. When you have money in the bank-- I got $50,000 in the bank, that you owe somebody, and now you have to create a marketing plan. People say "Yes, you just go out there and tell the world about it, or make a Facebook page." So many entrepreneurs "I'll make a Facebook." You ask the entrepreneur "How are you going to get customers?" "Through social media." "How?" "There's billions of people on social media, and even if 1% buy it, that'll be millions." Dude, let me tell you what. Nothing is harder than marketing when you are not having any traction, and people are like "Maybe your product's terrible." "No, people like it, I'm telling you, they love my cookies. I just am bad at marketing." Then your investor's calling. He calls you "Hey, how come you haven't sold anything yet?" Then your wife's like "Hey, you have got to go to bed, because it's 2 AM." Then your friends start to say "Can you come over?" and you say "No, I can't, because I'm trying to raise money so that I can bring in some..." and they say "What?" "I'm trying to sell something so that I can pay back the guy I borrowed money from" and your friends go "Why did you borrow money if you didn't know if it'd work?" Then that's what you're in. That's what marketing is. Interviewer: Painful emotionally, the house of pain. Clay: You have got to go out to see if the world's willing to pay for your solutions, and that, my friend, is what giving birth means. In my mind, when you're out there starting a business, that's the stage one. It is terrible, but once you get past that, the little baby comes out. Interviewer: It's beautiful, it smells like heaven. Clay: Cute kid. Interviewer: You forget about all the pain. Clay: Cute kid? Now the kid's 13. Now adolescent. Now you say "Hey, it's time for bed." "I'm not sleepy." "Buddy, you're 13. You have got to go to bed." "I hate you," he says. "Listen, I made that mouth, I'll break that mouth." Interviewer: "I will snatch your life," that's what I told my son. The other day, he was getting smart with me, so boy, it just came out. "I will snatch your life." Clay: I'm just telling you, then you get to adolescent business. You know all those unruly employees, and then you get into the maturity phase where you're like "My business is doing really well, but I'm old. I'm getting older. I'm going to die soon. I better enjoy my life." It's the different phases of life, different phases of business, but to give birth-- you want to have a baby without giving birth? Weird. Interviewer: Just to know that it's painful emotionally, like you said. Clay: Absolutely. Interviewer: I've got a great notable quotable. It's from Steve Jobs Clay: I love Steve Jobs. Interviewer: He says "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs and the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do, is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward, and most time they see them as the crazy ones. We see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." That's Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, founder of Next and the former CEO who turned down Pixar. Rest in peace, what a great quote. Clay: This is how I relate to this. One of my favorite books I ever read, was called Life and Def by Russell Simmons, and I read it when I was in college, and it changed things for me. What happened was, poor kids, inner-city kids of all different races and backgrounds, they basically didn't have enough money to have access to instruments, and they had record players. A guy named Kool Herc was a DJ named Kool Herc, and Grandmaster Flash. They discovered that they could adjust the turntable in a way where they could play back the beat. This right here, if I hit this button right here, I could get that right there, and then if I took the turntable and I played it back, I could go. I could do it, and I'd go back again. If I had a buddy who could rap, or could-- they called it toasting, but if I had a guy who could rhyme, he would rhyme over what I was doing. They took a song, it's an old song, songs like this. This was the one that came out a little bit later, but just an example. They'd take a song that people knew, and they would play the song and they would loop it, so when you hear this song for a second, and the crazy ones do this stuff, but just listen to the beat for a second, it's going to come in there. You're going to notice how repetitive it is, so just listen for a second. Hip hop is repetitive, so these people said "We want a way to tell our truth and make it rhyme, and express ourselves, but we don't have instruments." People thought "That's not music." Then they took a song that no one listened to anymore, and they recycled it. They started rewinding these songs, playing different great beats, and they recorded stuff like this. What happens is, that Russell Simmons, he had a lisp. His brother was the lead rapper for Randy MC and he couldn't rap. In his book, he explains this, he had a lisp, so he couldn't rap, but he was like "I believe I can change things. I believe I can take the art culture that we have of rhyming, and the limited access to instruments we have. We can reproduce it, remix it, redo it, and my buddy can rap over parts of the song, or rhyme, while I'll make sure the music's played a certain way, and then I'm going to promote it." The radio stations wouldn't play it, so he paid people to call the radio stations and request songs. The first song that was played, was called These are the breaks by Kurtis Blow. Interviewer: "And these are the breaks." Clay: "Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up." What happened is, that that song became the first song on the radio then, then The Sugarhill Gang followed with A Rapper's Delight. "Hip hop. Hippie, hippie to the hip, hip hop, and you don't stop." That was the baseline they grabbed from a song called Good Times, and all of a sudden it started to take off, and you know how it came about. One is a guy who was sitting in his apartment without a musical instrument, but the desire to express himself musically, and he actually messed up a turntable, adjusted it, so that he could-- scratching wasn't a good thing. He found a way to play it back. Then he had the innovative mindset needed to go out there and to hustle and to call the radio station and go "Could you play These are the breaks?" They're like "What song is that?" "Everyone's playing it. It's huge." They had to keep doing that until the radio stations were finally, like "Fine. We've had 50 requests for the same song, we'll play it." He's like "We have to have 500 people ready to go, to call and say 'That song was awesome, can we hear it again?'" That's how they created the hip hop movement. You had to be crazy enough to believe that what was crazy could become the normal, and if you have an idea that God has put into your heart for a product or a service that you believe can really, really impact the world, don't extinguish that flame. You only live once. You've got to go out there, and you've got to say "Am I crazy enough to give birth to this idea?" If you are crazy enough, if you're just abnormal, because remember, people want success but success is not normal. If you're just abnormal enough to go out there and to have success, to leave mediocrity aside, and to go for something big, then do it, and we're here to help you, and if you get stuck, you just call us and we'll coach you, we'll help you, but if not, it's okay to run back to the crowd, but just understand that the difference in income and fulfillment is vastly different when you fear giving birth. When you give birth-- I can tell you, so many moms told me, I've talked to so many women about this, they say, literally they go-- My wife's friends with all these ladies and they talk, and they're like "Oh my Gosh, giving birth was so terrible." I can tell you, all of them look back and go "I'm so glad I did that." Interviewer: Definitely. Clay: That's how I feel about the business. I look back at it and go "It was worth it." It's a love-hate relationship. Interviewer: Good word. Totally worth it in the end. Clay: Boom. No videotaping while people are giving birth, by the way. As we take it out, if you're out there filming while your wife's giving birth, you got that camera ready to go? Put that away, no one wants to see that. Interviewer: Then when they want people to watch it, I'm like "What is that? I don't need to see that." Clay: My uncle Jim, he accidentally played a family video, and in the beginning of that video, was my aunt giving birth, and I'm going to tell you what. No, I'm not kidding. That's what happened, and as a 12-year-old, I just sat there and I was like "Hold me." I literally was looking away and they're like "Sorry, sorry." Then he queued it up on the VHS, the video tape, and I remember just looking down, going "Did you see that?" "No, I didn't." To this day it's seared in my memory and I will never think of my aunt the same way. Bonnie. Interviewer: Yes, how are you doing? Stop recording the birds that give birth to your business.
Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.