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This episode is a business coaching course that teaches how to create a culture of success.

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

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotable: "Culture is better than a strategy. It's what manages when the manager is gone."
  • Lesson Nugget: Customers won't love your company until your employees do.
  • Notable Quotable: "Being nice to people is just 20% of providing good customer service. The important part is designing systems that allow you to do the job right the first time. All the smiles in the world aren't going to help you if your product or service is not what the customer wants." - The Service Profit Chain - Heskett, Sasser, Schlesinger

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-What's up, Thrivers? Daniel McKenna here. And today Clay Clark will be sitting down with the incredible Bryan Smith. We're talking about creating a daily office culture of success and small business management. Don't know who Bryan Smith is? Bryan Smith is the owner of one of the nation's fastest growing and top selling insurance agencies. As a result of implementing best practice sale systems, pig-headed discipline, and the creation of successful sales organization culture, Bryan's business continues to thrive.

Today you'll learn about how to create good culture of success in your business and how to apply it to your small business management system. Having a culture of success will obviously bring success to your business, so this lesson can be very valuable to you. So make sure you listen and take notes on how to create that culture of success. Or you could just hire me to walk through your office a bit. I don't know that would help, but you could do that.

-Bryan, I appreciate you letting me harass you, my friend.

-No problem.

-Hey, we're here today in my dojo of mojo at our undisclosed 3939 South Harvard location of the Thrive studio here. And we are talking today about creating a daily office culture of success. Now, Bryan, I won't verify. But how do you feel?

-I feel good. I feel good. Really good.

-You watched a movie you weren't really excited about this week. And real quick, just tell the Thrivers what movie that was that just was like-- boom.

-I hate to be such a critic, but "Interstellar."


-Wasn't my favorite movie.

-Here's the deal. Thrivers, if you're watching this, if you'll watch it, we guarantee it's either the best movie you've ever seen, or the worst movie you've ever seen.

-I would agree with that.

-It's a 50-50, you don't know. So we're going to get in now to creating a daily office culture of success. And one of things we're talking about is it's important that you can do this on a daily basis. This isn't about creating a culture of success because you went to a seminar and, woo, we're excited. This is a daily thing. So I'm going to go ahead and read an excerpt from "The Service Profit Chain." This is the book written by the Harvard Business professors Sasser, Schlesinger, and Heskett. And here we go.

"Being nice to people is just 20% of providing good customer service. The important part is designing systems that allow you to do the right job the first time. All the smiles in the world aren't going to help you if your product or service is not what the customer wants." Bryan, in your mind, why it's so important to design processes and systems that are going to build a culture in every other aspect of your business.

-A couple years ago, I was at an event and I was struggling with some of these same situations. And Joe Jordan told me, he said, understand that this topic is so important. Culture is better than a strategy. It's what manages when the manager is gone. And I thought, you know what? If I just sit and really think about that, systems are crucial for consistency across enterprise but will only happen if the culture is there. Basically, Joe was saying, if you train and lead right, you create this culture.

That particular process will help manage and create other systems and processes that you need.

-It blows my mind. Duct tape-- my brain matter is going to fly out of here. Bryan, we have on the website Thrivers can email in their questions all the time, questions they want to ask the guru the question. And one of the one's that came in says, "Hey, dudes. I own a business in the printing industry, and it honestly feels like that it would almost be more profitable for me to shut down the shop when I can't be there in the office."

So he's saying, when I can't physically be there in the office, I almost feel like I should just shut it down. "I just returned from my honeymoon and I discovered that nobody checked the client's file before doing a massive batch of printing"-- I guess a big printing-- "when I was out of town. Our guys totally ruined the order and it cost me nearly $3,400. I would totally freak out an employee who didn't do their job, but this has happened with nearly every employee I've ever had, so I'm starting to think I'm just a terrible trainer. How can I create a culture that gets employees to get their jobs done on a daily basis even when I'm out of office?" Blah!

-I've learned that with customers that they'll never love my company until my staff does. And I still believe that this all starts in the interview, in the recruiting process with your team. You've hired somebody that you've not gotten to know. And people do it every single day. It's the norm. You just go out and hire someone when you need them, when it's actually after you need them. You haven't gotten to know them, so there's no expectation. And they serve this temporary need to help you think that you've got somebody running your business for a little bit.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: Customers won't love your company until your employees do.
  • Lesson Nugget: To deter unacceptable behavior among your team members, you must force the "awkward" conversation and hold them accountable to your expectations.
  • Lesson Nugget: Be very intentional about connecting with the individual members of your team to build rapport.
  • Ask Yourself: How often am I connecting with my team?

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-Let me ask you. We were going to dive into this lesson nugget here. Customers will not love your company until your employees do.


-OK. So let's get into this for a second.


-Try to unpack this. Let's say that I own a hair salon. And I've got a lady who's cutting hair and a dude that's cutting hair. And they're all just like, well, can I go on break? And god, I've been on my feet all day. And they're just kind of complaining about the general business, or in this guy's case, they're printing stuff wrong all the time. How do you get somebody to love your company, Bryan? It sounds so easy. How do you do it?

-It's definitely not easy, which is why, you know, a lot of people do not do it. But it starts with the connection that you have with the staff. When, you know, in the interview and recruiting process, you begin to get to know them.

You've given them assignments that help them connect you to your business. And then when you've hired them, you've set expectations with them and let them know that you're not going to ask them to do anything that you're not willing to do. And when you build this staff and you get it right, you have the-- the staff begins to then show that to the clientele.

And this is another one of those things where people want the secret. There's no secret. Look at Chick-fil-A. Look at all the great places you go, to where they have built their success. Their foundation is on the staff. It's not on the food. Other people have chicken sandwiches. It's not on the fries. Other people have good fries. It's on the staff. It's on the experience that you have when you go there.

And, you know, and another example on the other side, and it's a place I love so I hate to do it, is [BEEP]. You know, not everyone watching this nationwide might know what [BEEP] is.

-OK, what's [BEEP]. Just explain--

-[BEEP] is an old-fashioned hamburger joint. It's really popular in the lower five states-- you know, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana, I believe. And what they have is great food. It's real-- they pride themselves on real hamburger meat. They pride themselves on not just being a fast food place. The problem is is that they have a drive-through. So they are a fast food place that gives you really slow food.

And so if you didn't really love [BEEP], you would never go back there. Because you sit in line forever it feels like. And so what they've done is they've taken really good food and wrapped it with terrible service. Hired people that have no clue. And this isn't at one [BEEP], this is consistent among all of them.

And you know, that's why I say that I look at Chick fil A-- as a whole, it's really good. [BEEP] as a whole, it's really bad. And what has happened is the leaders have gone different directions with how that they're really emphasizing what staff can do.

-Well, Bryan, let's go ahead and deep dive into this like an athletic and steroid-enhanced member of the Olympic dream team swimming team here. Not that any of our athletes have ever done steroids for our country. Probably it's other countries, but-- So we're going to be talking about creating this culture of success. So walk me through the daily and weekly routines that you have in place to make sure that you are creating a culture of success. What are some of the daily and weekly routines?

-You know, and it tries to be daily, but it's always weekly. One of the first things that I'm always going to do is I go to connect with my team. When I leave here and I go back to my office, I'll connect with my team. So many people are checking their emails or checking their messages and doing all those things. There are no emails, there are no messages, without a team.

And so I am always first to go and connect with my team. Individualize them. Create a short conversation with each and every one. We're going to talk about how they're doing, what they did this weekend, what's their plan for today.

I make what they have to do today about them, not me. You know, what's your goals today? What are you trying to get done today? I want to hear them tell me. Not for me, for them. And what happens is you do that every day, and every single week, you build-- you build this rapport with your team that make them feel like you're with them, not just employing them. You're with them in the fight.

-So you're connecting with your staff every day. You're going and seeing these people. Talking-- look at-- looking at them in the eyes. And you're saying there's no emails, no phone calls, nothing was going to happen if without these people.

-If I'm at my office, Clay, that's what I'm doing. When I walk in, the first thing I do is I look for team members to greet. I look for team members to set expectations with. And I look for team members to shake hands, hug necks. Make them feel special. They're doing something for you. And if you never forget that, you'll see that that-- they'll show their want and need to be in your business way more than someone that you don't do that with.

-Let's say you go in and you're doing your rounds. You're like, hey, talking to people, and you're really connecting. And let's say that one person is really-- you can-- you walk in, and you know they're not doing their job.


-Right. They're in the middle of-- on the computer, they've got it pulled up there. It's like their fantasy football league. They've got Facebook, Netflix. And they got it all pull up. They've got two monitors. One has Netflix, the other one's got Facebook. They got their fantasy football. And they're like, "Hey, Bryan. Good to see you.' And you said, what are you doing? What are you up to? "I'm just, just, workin' hard on stuff." What do you do to hold your team accountable on a daily basis as you're making your rounds?

-You know, I'm a little bit different about that. I don't lash out on somebody. I make sure they know that I've seen what they're doing, and I let them marinate on it.


-Yeah. We'll talk about that later. They know what they were doing is unacceptable. I know it. We're going to talk about it. You get one. And I don't tell anybody that you get one, but you get one... small business management.

And we're going to sit down and talk about that later. Probably later that day, I'm going to cross paths with you somewhere and say, hey, you know, how was it going earlier checking out Netflix? You know, what were you watching? And I make it sound like I really want to know. Well, I was watching "Interstellar." And I immediately-- I'm probably going to get frustrated. Because if you're going to waste my time and yours, waste it on "Rocky V," "Rocky III."

-A movie that was--

-Something good. You know, if you're going to spend my time and my internet, watch something good. I would literally go about that conversation exactly. In fact, Clay Clark, I'm going to joke with you a little bit, and then I'm going to say, "Do you think that that was helping anybody today?" Well, no.

And so I'm going to say, "You know that's unacceptable at work and you know you can't do that. I don't want to see you watching movies on my time again. I give you plenty of freedoms here. I give you plenty of time, and I don't want you watching movies here at work. That's not good for me or you or anyone else here to get the job done."

-OK. But you have that conversation.

-Exactly like


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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: If you serve your customer first, you will always win.
  • Notable Quotable: "If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near." - Jack Welch
  • Action Step: Go find someone successful in your industry and ask them questions to learn what you need to do to become successful.
  • Lesson Nugget: As a business owner, any ongoing employee problems are ultimately your fault. Therefore, it is your job to assess the situation and either fix the problem or save the person.
  • Ask Yourself: Have I set clear expectations for my team? Is my team fully trained? Does my team truly care about the business?
  • Notable Quotable: "Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove, we'll settle for intense." - Jeff Bezos

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-Now a little Notable Quotable for you. Jeff Bezos-- this is the founder of Amazon.com. He previously described culture as, "Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove, we'll settle for intense." What is the culture that you're trying to build within your organization? Not Jeff Bezos. What are you trying to build within your organization?

-You know, I would say with us, we like to win, but we're here to serve. And that particular-- it's something that we all say in my office. We're always talking about, we love to win, we want to win. But we're here to serve. And what we've found in our business is that if we serve people first, we always end up winning. They come in, they see us, they send their friends and their family to do business with us.

And the first thing they say when they got here is, hey. So and so said that Tanya was so good the other day. I want to talk to her. They don't say anything about, what can they buy? What was the prize? What is this? What is that? They always say, hey. So and so said to come see Tanya, that she would be able to help me on this. Well, and that's because we're serving. We're helping people.

-So if I watch this and I'm going, gosh, I would love it if Tanya would work in my office, or I wish those stories would happen, if I'm highly motivated to set up these success processes needed to run a successful business, what are some things you think I should do on a daily basis, I should go ahead and jot down right now? Action items, things that I can start doing.

-Well, and you had this here. Jack Welch said-- and, you know, I just kind played off it. He said, "If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near." I interpret this to say, we need to act fast. I would immediately look to set a meeting with the most successful person I knew around my industry, and learn about what they do.

Sometimes we're so busy looking for secrets and things that people don't know that we miss the obvious. The obvious is go find someone that's very successful in your industry and ask them how to do it.

-You said the Jack Welch quote, that if the rate of change is greater outside of your organization than it is within it, then what?

BRYAN SMITH: The end is near.

-Oh, boy. So better get serious here if that's you. Now moving on here now, on the next action item, let's say that you're trying to walk me through what you would actually say to team members that show that they don't want to do the things necessary to win.

Like, example. A lot of business owners really struggle with that awkward conversation. And let's say that I'm there, and let's go to this printers analogy. Well, if you're a print shop, I guess, in this example, you have to print things for customers, I would assume on time and accurately. So what would you say if you're running this print shop and Holmes has misspelled something for the third time. How would that conversation go down in your office?

-You know, that's a really tough situation, losing money like that with an employee that's doing things without checking their work. But I've always kind of thought to myself, I can never rise higher than the expectations that I've set for myself. And it's basically making things real. It's saying what has to happen. It's speaking verbally the expectations you have for people.

And in the print shop situation, I mean, have these people been trained? I mean, have these people gone through a process to where they know every single thing they're supposed to do? And then do these people care about this business when you leave? The ultimate business owner can leave his business for a month and come back, and things are better than when he left.

-A month? Pfft.


-If you have time to do that.

-Now let me ask you this here. So if you're dealing with a hostage situation, OK? So let's say that I'm watching this and I've created one of those hostage situations where I'm the owner, but I feel like I'm being held hostage by my nonperforming staff. Should I just go in there Chuck Norris style and start to knock out the nonperforming employees? Or what should I do? I feel like I'm being held hostage by just terrible people.

-You know, and this one's so tough, because it just depends on how far you've let it go. What you've got to remember as the business owner is, don't be too quick to forget that you created this. And people hate to hear that, because it's like, well, I didn't create this. I didn't do anything. Yeah, you did. You hired them. You didn't set expectations. You didn't train. You didn't lead. And if you did all that, they still work here, so you're letting them be here.

So you know, you're the person who's created this problem. So you've got to figure out what's going to be the best way to either fix the situation or save the person. And you know, it's really hard to say there's a hard and fast rule to this, but I'll tell people. You've got to really analyze your situation and your people. And it's something that I don't tell a lot of people, because it's really embarrassing, but I actually was fired from my first three jobs... small business management.

-Oh, really?


-The trifecta, the hat trick?

-Oh, yeah.

-What were you doing? Were you watching Interstellar?


-You know, when I look back on it, Clay, getting fired from my first three jobs was a factor of me not really caring about the business and the employer not caring about me not caring about the business.


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