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-My name is Clay Clark, and I'm the visioneer of Thrive15.com and one of the business mentors on the website. Today we are joined by Arthur Greeno of the Chick-fil-A fame, and we're going to be teaching daily life management. A lot of us struggle with just managing the basics, managing our day timer, our day planner, and our to do lists. And today you're going to learn specifically how to take all that clutter and to turn it into some sense of order so that can manage our life on a daily basis.
I meet entrepreneurs every day who have big ideas and no idea how to master those small details, but at the end of today's episode, you're going to learn how to manage your life effectively. So today's episode can be worth millions and millions of dollars for you. Remember, at Thrive15.com, we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you're watching today's episode, ask yourself specifically what you need to do to apply these principles in your life. Otherwise, today's episode may be more meaningless than a leash for a goldfish.
Arthur, over the years, every article that I've read and all research that I've done-- and I'm sure you've done, too-- I've found that every successful entrepreneur and business mentor has this routine, and that has allowed them to become successful. And so it's not so much it's an event, but it's a process to becoming successful. So I want to know for you, what time do you wake up every day?
-I generally wake up-- the latest will be 6 o'clock.
-What time do you speculate most of your employees wake up based upon how they look when they show up right at work-- or most-- not your employees, but most employees. Not yours, other people.
-I think most people probably wake up about 30 minutes before they get to work.
-There's an article I read in "Forbes" that talked about how the average millionaire-- like 80% of these people-- wake up three hours before they get the work, whereas the average employee, it's usually 30 minutes, which is craziness. How does somebody-- anyway.
-Some of them don't even bother to put their hair down from having bed head.
-That's a hot look now.
-Now, to stay organized, how do you manage your time on a daily basis? I mean, do you run around just kind of trying to remember what to do, or do you write things down? What's your system?
-For me, I use a calendar, and my calendar is one that syncs with my phone, with my iPad, with my computer so that all of them stay in sync.
CLAY CLARK: What program?
-I use CalenMob.
-How do you spell that? Is that real?
-I don't know what that is, but could you maybe describe it more. One, so I know that you're not making it up. And two, so that--
-Look, it's just a cheap iTunes app.
CLAY CLARK: But you like it?
-But it works for me. But I'm also not a big techie guy, so I won't spend a whole lot of time doing it. I'll use that until somebody else comes to me and says, hey, you need to use this, and then I may switch.
-Now, you're a big idea guy. You always have a lot of big ideas. You always have these creative solutions and things. Most big idea guys I know are crazy disorganized. Why is that not you? Why are you not the guy who's always two hours late to a meeting? Why are you not the guy who's perpetually forgetting to-- why is it that you're able to get things done?
-If you're going to be successful, you need to honor the other people that you're spending time with. So to me, when I set up a meeting-- I actually had a meeting set up one time, and the guy was two minutes late, and he wanted to sell me on something. And when he came, I said, you know what? We're not going to do business together. And he said, well, I'm only two minutes late. I'm sorry. I had a phone call. I said, I understand that, but what happens when I need my product here, and it's not there because you had to take that phone call.
-It's tough. I think it's tough, because I think that to all of us-- you, myself, we start off as entrepreneurs. We mature, and every once in a while, we find ourselves breaking our own rules for whatever reason that we believe to be justifiable. It's a kid is sick. It's on the phone or whatever those things are, and I think it's important that we all have the same ideals, though. It's not like when some one is a hypocrite if they hold everyone to a high standard, but you're striving to that same ideal. You try to honor everyone's time.
Now, you have to six kids, two restaurants, one wife, multiple businesses you're involved with in some capacity. How do you balance the demands of faith, family, and finances? I mean, why not just-- how do you do it? How do you balance all three?
-Well, one of the big things is, if it's not on the calendar, it doesn't get done. If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't get done. That's the reality of it.
-Schedule it. What doesn't get scheduled doesn't get done. Is that--
-Absolutely right. My wife-- her calendar syncs with mine. It takes like two minutes for my calendar to load because my wife has every kid's schedule on the calendar.
CLAY CLARK: Boom.
-And so when I look at it--
CLAY CLARK: All [INAUDIBLE].
-Yeah, and so of course I have to focus on my color, which being as erratic as I am sometimes, I'm like, OK, which color is mine?
-You and your wife share a color coded calendar?
-Yes. She creates it. I'm the spastic one. She's a little more organized, but yeah, when it comes to business, you don't succeed if you're not organized to some degree.
-I think that's huge. So you are scheduling out your day. You're not just running around.
-Do you have a life mantra that you try to live by?
-I do. Well, my life mantra is really improvise, adapt, overcome, and I believe that came from the military, but that's how I live. If something is not going to work, there's always a way to improvise, and adapt, and overcome that situation.
-That's amazing that you say that, because I think that serves as a huge skill that every entrepreneur has to have. Did you learn those as a result of growing up poor? Did you learn those recently? Did you learn those--
-I think a lot of it I learned, even when I was young, is that, if I wanted something to happen, I had to figure out a way to make it happen because it wasn't there for me.
-We have got a guy who works here, and he's working really hard, and I told him the other day, Hey, the only thing that's easy-- he's in college, and there's, to get things done here, you've got to be resourceful. You just have to be.
ARTHUR GREENO: Yeah.
-And he was having a hard time getting a few things done. And I was like, hey man, the only thing easy for you is college tests. College tests, I mean, you study for them. They're pretty predictable questions. But in business, I mean, things don't work. Suppliers don't deliver. Weather's not always good. People get sick. People get tired. People show up late to work. Customer quick coming. New customer start coming. And there's so many variables. And I really do think-- you said, it's adapt--
-Improvise, adapt, overcome.
-Overcome. Love it. Now, the late great success author, Napoleon Hill, he said that success is a choice. Napoleon Hill said that success is a choice. We're talking about the guy who studied the world's wealthiest man, Andrew Carnegie. Probably the top self help author of all time. He says success is a choice. A lot of people I know say, not it's not. It's not a choice. You can't choose. Is it a choice?
-It is absolutely a choice.
-How has it been a choice for you?
-Everything about success is a choice. When you are-- you get the choice on if you're going to get up early to get the job done. You get the choice on if you're going to stay up all night long to get it done. You have the choice on if things aren't prepared for your meeting in the morning, are you going to go see that movie? Or are you going to sit down and watch that reality show? There's a phrase out there that I love, is that the average millionaire does not know who got voted off the island.
CLAY CLARK: Yeah.
-And I love that. But that's the true.
-Now, here's one thing I think that's tough. Because you say, success is a choice. I have found the failure is a prerequisite to success.
-And I agree with that as well.
-Because with Thrive here, we have a spreadsheet we made of all the different venture capitalists. I think we've made over 400 attempts talk to people. And then, my favorite guy, the guy that I've been like, dear Lord-- I really have prayed this-- please allow David Robinson to join our team. Because he's so awesome. High integrity. Great guy on and off the court. And he's the guy who joins our team. You know, I've been talking to different venture capital firms, and the one guy I'd like to have on our team, John Copeland, is on our team. And, to me, it's just been neat to see that. But hundreds of rejections.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-And I know when you were at Chick-fil-A, scene was you were at a mall. The mall was called Eastwood Mall.
-To set up the scene, it's basically a vacant mall.
-And you are in the food court of a vacant mall where they're installing a library because the traffic is so slow.
-And you had to promote your food items. How did you do it? How did you get the food out to the people? When there were like seven people at the mall.
-Yeah, well, so here's what I did. In that particular food court situation, that food court was downstairs. We called it the dungeon. It was really bad.
CLAY CLARK: The dungeon of death.
-Yeah. And so, there was us and a movie theater and a lot of birds. The birds would fly in the mall, and they'd steal the pizza from the pizza guy. It was awesome. That's a whole different story.
-That really happened?
-Yeah. I would look over at the pizza place, and the crows would be grabbing an entire pizza and just try to fly off with it. He'd come chasing it with a knife. It was a scene out of a movie. I tell you, it was awesome. But I remember looking up at the people going, I need them down here.
-The people up top of the mall, the second level.
-They would be shopping upstairs, and they wouldn't come down. So, I said, well, if I can't get them down here, I need to go up there to them.
-So, what I started doing-- well, then I had some other logistical issues like, the mall would not let us just go wander around and hand out food. So, then I went to some of the stores there, and I got to be good friends with them, and I said, hey, can I give out food on your lease line?
And so I would take the food up there, and I would give away food on their lease line to those customers walking by. And they'd have a sample of Chick-fil-A. And they'd say, you know what, I want Chick-fil-A. Well, we're downstairs. And so I was able to increase my traffic count from 7 a day to 10 a day. It wasn't really that bad, but we are able to increase our traffic count.
-What was the traffic total before you started doing that? What did you get to? Do you remember roughly? Just so I can get an idea.
-It was-- there were days when we only had like 125 customers.
-But by the time I left that store after a couple years, I think on the lower end we were running 200, 250 customers.
-So you did some things. You chose to be successful. You just didn't wait down there in the food court on the empty level, with the birds that are trying to steal the pizza.
ARTHUR GREENO: That's right.
-Just goes to show you, you can't just watch a bird steal a pizza on the second level of a empty mall.
-You have to get it out there and sell your products and give samples on the lease line of other people.
-You got to put that on a coffee mug.
-It's so concise and clean.
-OK. We know success is a choice. Now in your mind, why aren't most people successful? If success is a choice, are people choosing to not be successful? Go.
-If you're going to choose success, you're going to have to do the uncomfortable things. You're going to have to get up early when it's not easy. People choose not to succeed because they're too comfortable in their lifestyle.
-So people are choosing to be unsuccessful?
-Well, OK. You know, Thrive is for people who have decided to move beyond surviving. And I think they're a little bit fiery. They're honey badgers. They're going I'm just going to do whatever I have to do to become successful, so I'm not going to be irritated when I hear this sort of message. But we are saying that people choose to be successful, but also some people are choosing to not be successful through their actions.
SUBJECT (OFFSCREEN): Correct.
-Maybe not their mind, what they're thinking, but what they're doing.
SUBJECT (OFFSCREEN): Absolutely.
-In your own life, how have you chosen to become successful?
-Well for me, it was really the mentality. I wanted to thrive basically. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be able to provide for my family. And so the first thing is I started aligning myself with people who had that in their life. And then, of course, I would do the things that others would not do to get to that point, like getting up early, staying at work late, adding that extra second mile service. Sometimes it's about being that friend that other people may not be.
-I've noticed at your Chick-Fil-A that you clean your bathrooms about every 15 minutes.
-That's probably right during the busy times, yes.
-I know businesses that have gone months.
[FOREBODING MUSIC PLAYING]
Well, maybe not months, maybe weeks without cleaning the bathroom, really-- real talk. You go the extra mile all the time in those areas too.
SUBJECT (OFFSCREEN): Right.
-Why are you doing this?
-Well, one of the reasons is the Chick-Fil-A customers absolutely expect that. And so what we find is that if we're not keeping a clean restroom, then, first of all, they'll go somewhere else. So on top of the fact that they expect that. It's what we need to do to make sure that the customer's getting the best experience they can. Because there's plenty of other bathroom for them to use. But we want them to be going, I'm going to Chick-Fil-A bathroom because when I go there, I know that it's going to be clean. It's gonna smell great.
-It flows good every time.
-Amazing flow-- just flows.
-Now funny story. One time we're creating our system on how we're going to clean the bathrooms. And we're talking about-- we actually went to some other stores, and we benchmarked on what they were doing. A friend of mine from QuikTrip showed me that terminology, which is funny, because we were benchmarking QuikTrip on how they cleaned their bathrooms. And they would go in there and spray all the walls down. And so we went out there. We sprayed all the walls down. And I did it myself. I went in there. I sprayed them all down. It smelled fantastic in there. So I left the bathroom, got my manager, went and brought him back to the bathroom.
-Smells so good!
-And I said, you know what? You've got to come in here. You gotta come in here and smell this. And we go in there, and I walked in, and I said, doesn't it smell great in here? And I look over, and there's a guy sitting on the potty right there using the restroom.
And manager looked at me and he didn't know what to say. And then I realized that there was a guy sitting there. So we stepped outside and just started laughing about it. So the guy felt pretty awkward, so we went and hid.
-So it just goes to show you, if your bathroom is starting to smell nice, bring a buddy in there.
-OK. For all the aspiring entrepreneurs and current entrepreneurs other there,
What are three things in your mind that every one needs to do if they want to become successful? Again, if I'm an entrepreneur watching this, what are three things that I can do and choose to become successful?
-Three things-- one, you need to get a mentor, someone that's gonna give you wisdom into your life. The other is be ready to do the things that others won't do. I think the third thing is be ready for everything to fall apart. Because as an entrepreneur, not everything works out perfectly, You just have to be ready for it.
-Gosh. You know, I was talking to my wife today, and I was trying to hit on her, you know. And she's trying to ask me questions. And I'm just trying to hit on her. And she's asking me, she's like, well, how's production going? I was explaining to her all the great things that are happening. But at the same time, I don't understand why I can't get the electricity to work here where we can't turn on the whole mothership without something crashing-- like what is the deal? And it just seems like you have to have that. Otherwise it would just be too awesome.
SUBJECT (OFFSCREEN): Absolutely.
-And you almost have to have that adversity. I mean, it's funny, you know what I mean? So I guess my heaven is if we could recreate the Thrive set here, but the electricity would work consistently. That's really what I'm looking for.
-But that's a true entrepreneurial spirit. Because it's probably not going to happen. So you got to work around it.
-And in recap, your mantra-- I want to repeat that one more time-- was
-Overcome. Awesome. Hey, thank you for your time.
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