The world in which we live generally celebrates the success of entrepreneurs and business people after they have won the race and are in the process of receiving their trophies and medals. However, very few people take the time needed to study successful people and to ask them what they did to achieve their high levels of success. In this training we explore the path several top entrepreneurs had to take to get from point A to point B.Sign Up to Watch
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-Have you had any personal demons that you've had to battle since you've been self-employed? Is it doubt? Is it maybe frustration? Is it negativity? Anything like that?
-No, I think perfectionism. Just trying to do everything perfect, doing too much. And you can't be perfect at everything. So you know, whether, like I said earlier, balancing work and family life, so if I am diving into my business then what's suffering at home? Or if I'm with the kids all day on a field trip, there's 15 clients that have called and text and I feel bad that I wasn't there for them. So I think it's kind of, as a mom, that balance that way.
-I think I've done what you've said in reverse. For me, my thing is-- my wife is awesome. Baby, if you're watching, you're awesome. But she's awesome. And she's great. And growing up how I grew up, when an entrepreneur calls and says, could you meet me for lunch? I really want to help you. I want to meet him. But when I do, it takes time out of personal time with my wife. And then my wife's like, yo, yo, yo, yo, check it out. We have five kids, right? And then, we should maybe see them for even a minute a day, what's wrong with you? And so for me, it's over-committing.
-I over-commit, yeah.
-And so, I know it's what I deal with. Also. I also deal with-- I'm passionate. So it's sometimes communicating my passion to somebody who's less passionate. Source of anger. You know? That kind of thing. So, I would say for me, it's anger, over-committing. I know, for me, a lot of times too, it's feeling overwhelmed. Since we've had some financial success, I tend to be somehow-- if someone's having a financial problem, they tend to come to me. Hey, we're coming to the castle. And I'm like, no, no, no. And then I'm like, OK you can stay here, my brother, my friend, my neighbor, my cousin, my whatever. So we're always over-committing. It's that whole thing. We all have a demon now. We all have something that's going to eat away at us if we're not aware of it.
Now, George retired from boxing to become a pastor. Have you ever felt called to do something with your business? Have you ever felt like, I need to do this nice thing for this person and it's not something that I want to do? Have you ever felt that in your business?
-Yeah, I do that a lot.
-Yeah. I over-commit, for sure. So I do everything in school, and church, and yeah.
-I do a lot.
-You're that mom, aren't you?
-I'm that mom.
-Who wants to volunteer to lead the PTA? And everyone's-- and then she's like--
-Yeah, I think you can find yourself over-committing to where I feel like they need me, so I need to commit because who else is going to do it?
-Funny story about why not to over-commit. I, one time, volunteered when I was 21 or 22, to be on the homeowners association. So we moved into this neighborhood-- it's a neighborhood where basically a lot of wealthier people lived. And I'm the young guy and they're like, well I bet his parents bought the house for him. One guy even said that. Well, did your daddy buy this house for you? So I'm in this neighborhood and I volunteer. All of a sudden, one dude drops out, somebody else-- I find myself as vice president of this association.
And Wendy, bless your sweet, sacred soul, I bet you're not an entrepreneur so you're not watching this, but Wendy used to call and Wendy would say--
[PHONE DIALING BEEPS]
And answer the phone, such and such homeowners association. And she'd go, yeah, somebody is parking their obnoxious vans. They're painted, they're DJ vans. They've got vans painted. They're right in the neighborhood. It's gross. I'm pretty sure they're running a business out of it. It's like a kid. I'd like to file a complaint. And I'm like, I'll tell you what, you'll need to put that in writing. It states in the homeowners association bylaws that you need to submit that in writing. And I'll make sure that that neighbor is notified. And then I'd hang up the phone and be like, I'm not going to notify myself. You know?
Well, this game went on for a long time. And then it started getting crazier. Like she'd say, somebody has a DJ van, it's like painting graffiti and it's blocking part of the sidewalk. And I walked by and it's like, he smiled at me, like he's taunting me. And I'm like, you'll need to just fill out the form and I will make sure I notify the neighbor and then she's like, are you, um, where do you live? And I'm like, oh I live in a vast part-- I remember it was something BS. I live on the far side. Oh, I live on the far side. I live way down west. Well, it's not that big of a neighborhood, where west are you? Well, over there roundabout the-- oh, that's right next to me. No, it's around the-- what address? I don't know. You don't know your own address? OK, fine it's me! You've been talking to me, Wendy!
And I find myself as the head of this homeowners association and I'm going to meetings now. Wendy's filing complaints. I'm counter-motioning. Dumb. Now, what I do is, I move into the neighborhood and I realize they can't, by law, force me to do anything, so I just do whatever the heck I want. There we go. So that's what I do now,
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-Moving on now-- Donald Trump, Donald Trump. Yeah, so if you're in my neighborhood and you see fireworks going up, I don't care. OK, so here we go. Donald-- the Donald-- the guy with a crazy hair. He says, you're fired.
There are so many thoughts that wold come to mind when you hear the name Donald Trump. But for me, the only thoughts that flood to my mind are of a man who lost it all multiple times. But he was pig-headed enough in his determination and tenacity to never give up. I think of a man who has consistently taken on projects that no one else would, because he believes in himself and his ideas so much.
When I think of Donald, I think of a man with enough self-confidence to actually have lost it all and yet still markets himself as a success story. Think about the psychological nudity that must be going on to market yourself as a guru when you have lost it all. He basically had that yo-yo career.
I know of a client who lost it all one time and then they're just down in the dumps. This guy went though-- basically lost it all-- and he keeps marketing himself that way. Donald would simply not give up. And one thing that happened-- this is a true story about Donald Trump and I want to share with you.
He basically had lost it all. And he owed a ton of money to banks to the point where they were going to foreclose on his property. And in the book called "Think Big and Kick Ass," with Bill Zanker-- explains the story. He doesn't have the money to service the loan. So he decides, well, I'm just going to show up at a dinner with the Baker that I'm going to in who's going to put me into foreclosure. I'm just going to show up.
So he puts his tuxedo on, takes his limo out, shows up at a dinner to meet with the guy who's going to foreclose on him. And during dinner-- the guy who's going to foreclose on him is sitting where you're sitting, the CEO of the entire bank is there-- and he says, hey-- let's pretend it's Deedra. He says, well hey, you know Deedra I want to bring it up-- this is over a formal dinner-- I know you're going to foreclose on me.
But I figured as a bank, you guys probably don't know how to run hotel. And so it'd probably cost you a lot more to foreclose. So why don't we just, as a group, decide right here sir, if you think it's a good idea if we go ahead and take over running a hotel. Because I don't think you guys could. I think it will probably cost a lot more to take me into bankruptcy than it would to just let me not pay. So I'm proposing no payments for two years
And a big dinner party-- did he just come in here? And he's like, well, I'm just telling you guys, I won't pay anything at all, but at least you're not losing money. Think about it.
DEEDRA DETERMAN: Sales guy.
-And he saved his career. And he says in this book that's the only reason he's still in business.
-That's crazy. That's real talk. So when you think about these people, they are tenacious. They're bold people. They have that never say die attitude. Trump, essentially, lost it all, basically. But he continues to recover.
How do you see-- when you see these business owners, because you see a lot of them, are you noticing that there's a-- are we weird? Are we dumb? Are we dumb people? Are we numb? What is it that makes us grow back like bamboo?
-Yeah, I think there's definitely a mentality with an entrepreneur that you can lose it all and keep going, whatever it is.
CLAY CLARK: You could lose it all and keep going?
-Yeah, I haven't ever lost it all. Luckily, I have that sweet husband at home that's got the job. So it's not as risky.
-Jarrett's a good dude. And I don't know if you want to just send in your checks, you just write Jared-- how do you spell that? Is it J-A-R-E-D?
-It's actually Jarrett, J-A-R-R-E-T-T.
-J-A-R-R-E-T-T, Jarrett. Jarrett, he's a beautiful man. And if you'll just write a check to Jarrett and then just put care of Deedra, very little will actually get to him. But OK, so--
-So, absolutely though, putting it all in there, putting it out there and be able to pick yourself up and go again.
-Do you feel like about with some entrepreneurs who are the most successful are stupid? Are we dumb?
-I don't think stupid, but definitely maybe that little screw loose that just says they're willing to take the risk and go for it all. And those are the people that make millions.
-I got to tell you a funny story-- while you're holding that super-expensive camera gear. We had I think it's like 400 people on our database who had said no to Thrive. It would never work. It's not-- why do entrepreneurs need practical training? Why do entrepreneurs need-- no, people don't want practical training.
And then, I get a guy who says yes. When I was the head of a bank, I had no idea how to do accounting. And I wish I had something like this. Yes, the guy says. I'm an optometrist, I wish I would have had that when I was starting out. Yes, you keep hearing yes, yes. Unbelievablee--
-400 no's. 400 no's.
-400 no's-- we have spread sheet. Its sweet. Yeah, so it's awesome. And I got David Robinson as a partner and all this neat stuff so.
-Now, how many times a day is your attitude or fortitude tested, Deedra? Twice? Is it once?
-Oh, a lot
CLAY CLARK: Really?
-Yeah, I would say a lot.
-Like at least once a day if something bad happened?
-Yeah, I mean, it's because I helped some clients with sales or PR pitch, and you get to know. And you just keep going.
-Do you tell anyone about it? Other than right now?
-No, I mean, my husband.
-OK, see my wife-- I'm working through this-- I don't really tell my wife when I get rejected. So there's a perception that I'm awesome.
-I think as I tend to not talk about any rejections because I don't think for me it's healthy to relive it. Some people, it's better to discuss it with someone. But we're going have to find a way to process it. For me, I just act like it didn't happen.
Moving on to Steve Martin-- Steve Martin, the father of the bride, a wild and crazy guy. You can see him up there. He's a phenomenal guy. He did the King Tut skits. He wore the white suits when he did the comedy.
To me, the name Steve Martin brings thoughts of a young man who wanted to be a musician, a comedian, a magician, but who lacked the talent to do it. I think of a man who decided to plunge himself into the process, a man he was so persistent that he understood, though he had failed over and over, that he would win long term.
This is what the dude actually did. He literally went from crappy bar to crappy bar performing. In his book called Born Standing Up, he tells a story. And he gets off the stage, and he goes, well, that wasn't funny. And he writes it down. And he literally starts making a post it card of the jokes that don't work.
And then he gets up the next night. All right folks. There are some jokes here that people the other nights said were awesome. So I'm going to try them out on you guys. Just work with me.
And he starts. And people start laughing at the fact that he's going off a list. Like that becomes funny. And he's like, that's funny.
And then he's like, OK, it's funny that the person who went before me dressed funny. So that's funny.
So he's like, I'm going to get a white suit. So he comes out and he's, all right everybody. Wears the white suit, and he comes out, and he's got bunny ears on. And he's like, I'm going to read you some jokes that people the other night thought were pretty funny.
So here, the people were like, is he really reading a list? And then when they don't laugh, he's like, OK. And he just does this.
And then he realizes, I'm a really crappy musician. And no one wants to hear the banjo. So he starts having the banjo delivered slowly from the ceiling. And then it comes down with his white suit, the ears--
And he's like, everybody clap know. And he's like, everybody sing along now. And no one knows the songs. He's like, all right everybody, sing along. And then he starts going, we'll go through my list of jokes. And then people kind of-- and then he's like, OK. I realize that if I get the banjo, I get my--
And this happened over a period of like three years. He said he performed like virtually every night, anywhere. He would just show up in a city and be like, can I perform tonight?
Well, he ended up getting a deal where he has the crappy music, the crappy magic show, the crappy jokes, the list, the outfit. And he becomes famous. And if you get a chance to look up Steve Martin and read his book Born Standing Up, you will discover he is right when he says, thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent.
So let's think about Steve Martin for a second. Steve Martin compensated for a lack of talent with persistence. Are there any areas where you've compensated for a lack of talent, connections, or money with persistence.
-Yeah, definitely. So I was not the entrepreneur that wanted to put the house up and risk all that. That was too much. So we really started with no money. I mean, as little as we could possibly do.
And one area was get media partners. We knew we knew the media. We came from media.
We had no advertising budget. Even though we're selling advertising, I'm telling people, buy my advertising. Yet I'm spending zero on advertising because we didn't have it.
So we partnered with a radio, television, and print partner in our local town, and just basically gave them content. We knew we had good mom content. We had the audience they wanted, and gave them content every week. And that was our advertising.
-I'm going to just draw up something for you real quick here. I know some women in the media business who are absolutely gorgeous on air personalities. But they do not spend any time practicing. They're just like, I was born with this beautiful face. And I just, that's what I do. I get paid. And then you meet somebody who isn't quite as naturally gorgeous or handsome. But the guy just works at his craft where he's awesome.
I know as a DJ, I was terrible. But I could just work at it and work at it. Eventually I grinded it to where I was awesome. But it didn't start that way. I want to just encourage everybody here that if you've got the face, if you've got the money, or you don't have the money, you don't have the face, if you have the talent, if you don't, we can usually just grind our way to success.
-Get creative, grind your way.
-You can do it.
So can you think of in your time, in your career, were you were able to turn any-- Steve Martin turned his rejections into refinements to his jokes. Do you have any time you can think of where you've turned a rejection into a positive?
-I would say every sales call I did for the first six months. Because it was just hitting it out there. We didn't have a huge audience yet. But yet I'm trying to go out there and sell this website.
So yeah, each time it got a little bit better. You kind of coin your little craft, and get your sales pitch out there, and what they want to hear.
So what worked here? OK, I'll try that again. OK, they want a personal story with me, because I'm a mom. I'm the customer they want. So make it personal. So you craft it as you go.
-I have found that just recovery sales is the best. When someone says no, you go well OK, what kind of service would you be looking for. I know we can't provide service for you today, but what kind of service would you want in the future? And you can come back. We can always learn from it.
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