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This business coaching post is about the importance of defining your why.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotables: "All organizations begin with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year."- Simon Sinek
  • Lesson Nugget: Stop and think about why you are doing things from time to time so you keep a proper mindset.
  • Notable Quotable: "I'll go as far to proclaim that the most important question you can train your employees to ask is 'Why?'"- Harvey Mackay
  • Action Step: Write down where you want to be in five years and WHY: 1. Spiritually 2. Mentally 3. Physically 4. Relationships 5. Finances

purpose taught like netflix, business mentors


-My name is Clay Clark, and today I'm joined by Chef Remmi, one of our business mentors. Now I'm excited, because she is 14 years old, and she's been able to achieve success that so many of us dream about. This girl is living her dreams. She's literally turned her idea into a successful business. Today, she's going to be teaching us specifically about how your success, my success, is determined by the size of our why. Why are we doing this? So many times, we find ourselves-- Gallup actually did a poll that showed that only 13% of the American population actually likes their job.

And unfortunately, a lot of us fall into that category. But if we can find something that we are sincerely passionate about, Remmi's going to be teaching us how the size of our why, the why we're doing this, greatly impacts the bottom line and the overall success of our company. At Thrive15.com, our business mentors believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you're watching today's episode, go ahead and take the time needed to ask yourself, self, what do I need to do to specifically apply these principles in my own life and business? Otherwise, today's episode may just be more meaningless than trying to stop a honey badger from escaping a large cement enclosure.

All right, Remmi. I thank you for being here today.

-No problem.

-You are a celebrity chef, a guru, kind of a big deal. Your product is in Whole Foods, as we can see here. What is this now?

-That's my Italian salad dressing.

-Italian salad dressing. It's in Whole Foods. You are a-- what is your title with Cidesco? What are you now?

-I am the Student Ambassador for Health and Nutrition.

-The Student Ambassador. And in my mind, she's sort of a big deal. So now we're going to talk about today how your success is ultimately determined by the size of your why. Your why as in, why are you doing it? And there's a best selling author by the name of Simon Sinek. And he says that-- he wrote a book that's called "How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone." And he says, "All organizations start with why, but only the great ones keep their why clear year after year."

What he's talking about is companies like Apple. They want to think different. They want to make beautifully designed, great products. Companies like Mercedes offer uncompromising high quality. Whole Foods tries to provide a nutritious, healthy food. And it seems like the companies that we love stay on their purpose. But over time, people drift. So I want to ask you-- why are you in business? The main purpose of my business is to eliminate the childhood obesity epidemic, and to at least reduce childhood hunger.

-So you want to eliminate the child obesity epidemic, and to eliminate the child hunger. Both sides of the spectrum. And Harvey Mackay, one of America's most successful business coaches and writers, he writes, "I'll go so far as to proclaim that the most important question you can train your employees to ask is why." He goes on to explain that "when people really know why they're doing something, they become massively more productive." Specifically, where do you see yourself in five years and why?

-I'm not really quite sure what the future holds for me, but in five years I'd probably say I'd have another cookbook out. At least one. And then I want to have my own cookware, like a bunch of colorful plates and pots. So I'll probably ask a manufacturer to do something like that. And then also I want to probably have a culinary degree. At least a half culinary degree. Now, let's get real with it here. You want to help kids who are obese, and you want to help kids who are starving and need food. Why thought?

-Well, just because a lot of entrepreneurs, the reason they do something is because it's a problem that they want to fix. So this is the problem for me. This is a big issue, not just really in America, but in a lot of other places, too. Childhood hunger is really bad. And so I just want to help people. How does that impact you, though. If it's 2:00 in the morning and you have to prep for an interview in the morning, or let's say you're up early and you haven't slept a lot, or yesterday I know you were working at Whole Foods and doing a promotional event. When you have a big busy schedule, do you stop and think about how you're doing this to help kids? Is that what keeps you going?

-That's the mindset I have to have. Or else I sort of lose-- I mean, I love to cook. But I sort of lose the passion though of helping others, because my business is really more built on helping. So if I lose the reason why I'm doing it, then I lose the passion of it.

-And then your passion's your big fuel?


-So you always go back to that?


-So just an action step anybody here can do, is if you can write down a description of where you want to be, specifically, five years from now, and why, in these five areas-- spirit, mind, body, relationships, and finances. If you'll write down where you want to be five years from now and why, and if you'll really commit to answering that question, I can promise you it'll absolutely change your life. Because if you know why you're doing something every day, like if you know exactly what you're doing every day, it's exciting.

And I know for Thrive, because we've been building this thing-- I'm not exaggerating. I literally wake up every day right now at about 3:00 in the morning. And I work on legal agreements. I work on booking different celebrities. I work on hiring people, technology limiters. And I work from 3:00 until 9:00 before I even see a human.


Just doing that stuff. And then from 9:00 to 5:00, it's organizing it. But I'm doing it because I know that people like you watching this have never had real mentor-ship available where you can interview millionaires and mentors and everyday success stories. There's never been something like that before. And I know that for me, I would still be poor if I hadn't had a mentor come alongside me and tell me that I could do it, and show me how to do it.

And so that's what drives me every single day is that. And what's driving you every day is this desire to help out kids that you don't even know. That's so exciting, that you want to do that.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Notable Quotable: "True happiness... Is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."- Helen Keller
  • Overnight successes are usually built on years and years of hard work.
  • Notable Quotable: "All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and them they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose."- Brian Tracy
  • Notable Quotable: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."- Martin Luther King Jr.

-So are you motivated to become successful, or are you motivated to help kids? Or both?

-Both. I mean, I think I'm successful when I help out the kids. That's what my success is.

-Let's look at this here. Helen Keller, the famous deaf, blind, and mute author-- let's not jump over that real quick. Deaf, blind, and mute-- that's a lot of adversity. And she defined the path to true happiness- "True happiness is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose," like a commitment to a worthy purpose.

Remmi, it'd be a lot easier if you just went out and got a typical teenage job. Say you went and worked at a Sonic restaurant or Burger King. I know my first job was at the Norseman in Cokato, Minnesota. And I remember not wanting to work there washing dishes. Why don't you just go out and do something normal?

-I mean, I'm not a normal kid by now. I don't think I can go back from all the work and effort and everything I've put into my business-- I can't really turn my back on it.

-I heard it said like this one time. The platform that you ultimately build or get to stand out as an entrepreneur, you have to build it with hours and hours of free labor. If you're standing today on this platform as Chef Remmi, you've had to build that platform up. If you're standing on this, imagine you were filling this up with hours of free, unpaid labor.

How many hours of unpaid work have you put into building your brand before you received a dime? Hundreds?

-Probably. At least a hundred.

-Before you got paid anything. And that's typical. I just want to make sure everybody sees that. I want to give an example. One of my friends from college, his name is Ryan Tedder. He's the front man for One Republic. And Ryan worked for almost a decade without being really paid as a musician. I think he was working at a retail job and then interning for free. He took every dime he had, put it into his career and moved out to Nashville. Then he moved to LA-- just working every hour of the day he could, other side jobs, to afford studio time and gear. And then he became an overnight success after nearly a decade.

-How many years have you been building your brand?

-I'd say about five years.

-You've been building for five years. Now, when did you get into whole foods? When did that happen?

-I'd like to say 2011?

-So really about three years before you were able to get into whole foods. You worked for two or three years before you got into whole foods. And I don't want to get caught up on the specific dates as much as the point-- you worked a lot, put a lot of effort into it, before you were paid anything. So it's not because you're lucky. It's because you're working hard there.

Now, Brian Tracy, one of the world's most successful self-help authors, has repeatedly said over the years that "all successful people, men and women"-- and young ladies-- "are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day towards that distant vision, that goal or purpose."

-Remmi, what is your dream for kids and adults alike as relates to their eating habits and their access to food?

-I want people to have an economical source of healthy food. And I want it to be something that they can easily access. I just want them to do it and be able to have the resources they need to live a healthy lifestyle.

-Well, you know, Martin Luther King Jr, he once famously wrote "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." He's a famous civil rights leader. I speak a lot at schools, but you'll ask a 12-year-old-- "What do you want to do when you grow up?" And the kid will say-- I would be an astronaut. I want to be a ninja. I want to be a chef-- I mean a firefighter. I want to run my own business.

And then when you interview the same group of people 20 years later, now they're 32. What do you want to do?

I just hope to retire someday.

And I feel that they lose that desire to do something big. And what Martin Luther King was saying here is once we become silent about things that matter, once we stop putting our dreams out there, do you feel that for you, living with your goals out front is exciting? Or is it kind of scary?

-I think it's a little bit of both. I mean, I put it up there, and I know what I want to do. So I have to work towards it to get to what I want to be. I'm probably a quarter of the way there. I still have a lot of work to do, and I have so much to look forward to. It's a bit scary, because you always have that little voice in your head that's like-- you won't get there. That kind of thing.

But then you always have to have the other voice, like the little devil and the little angel on your shoulder, that says-- you can do it. Now keep going.

-Little devil on the shoulder, little angel on the shoulder. And you have to, in your head, battle that out.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: Make a list of five things that matter to you. Then, share your "why" with others.
  • Lesson Nugget: Always keep in mind the reason you started your business in the first place!
  • Lesson Nugget: Your "why" should keep you up late and wake you up early thinking about it.
  • Lesson Nugget: Place your passions and goals on your mirror where you can see them everyday.
  • Lesson Nugget: If you can put your mind to it, you can do it.

-In your mind, why do most people not believe that they, too, can be something special? Why do most people believe that they cannot? You watch TV, and they say-- oh, my gosh! That's Remmi! People usually go to my speaking events and boo.

One guy came up to me, and he says-- I know you are entrepreneur of the year. It seems like you have a Midas touch, but I could never do that.

I can tell you-- I took algebra three times. So you can do it. But why do you feel like most people don't think they can do it?

-There's people that are very successful, and they've gotten there, and then you have people that want to be them. You can do it. The issue is that it's all your mindset that you think you can't do it.

If you really put your mind to it, you can do it. I think they don't really think they can, because they think themselves mediocre compared-- they're amateurs.

-They feel like that.

-Yeah. They feel like they're so small compared these people. But the thing is, those people were once them. Overnight, they didn't get where they are. They had to work. And so you have to work to get it.

-It seems that if I own a business right now, I know a lot of business owners who have lost the passion. They started the gift store because they used to be passionate about gifts. They started the photography company because they used to be passionate about photography. And they lost that.

One thing I would encourage you to do, as far as some action steps that we can all do, is if you'll make a list of five things that matter most to you and begin to share your why with others and to figure out how to align your business with things you're passionate about, you'll get passionate again.

Let's give you one example. I know of a guy. He's on the east coast, and he has a mortgage company. And he was telling me he was going through a depression, almost. He says-- I'm just not motivated. I'm not pumped anymore. I've made a lot of money.

I said-- what if every time you sold a mortgage to somebody, you donated to your favorite cause? Well, all of a sudden, this guy is pumped up, because he has a bunch of things that he's always wanted to give money to, but he's always thought-- well, someday I'll do it. But now he has it where every time he sells a mortgage, he gives a pretty decent amount of money to a charity he's into. And he's reignited his passion.

So I think it's important that we can all write down five things we're passionate about and try to align it with our business to see if that can get us out of that funk a little bit. And then I would place it on your mirror, where you can see it every day.

Do you put the childhood obesity causes and those sorts of things somewhere you can see it? Do you have these goals on your mirror ? Do you have any trick you do to make it real for you?

-I have a No Kid Hungry thing, and I also have a little [INAUDIBLE] thing. That focuses me on that, really. The whole No Kid Hungry thing, whenever I see that, I want to eliminate that. Not that I want to get rid of the organization, because it's good, but I want to get rid of the Kid Hungry part.

-You want to fix that. It seems as though when you do put your goals up front and your why up front and you know every day why you're doing it, you'll become exponentially more motivated. And that's the trick-- keeping yourself motivated. Because you run your business off of passion. You need that fuel to keep you going.

Now, if I'm watching this and I really feel like I don't even know where to start when it comes to determining my why, would there be any advice you would give me? If I've kind of lost that loving feeling about my business, is there any tip you might give me for how you could discover a why?

-Think of your original reason-- why you started. There has to be a reason why you did something. Just think of that reason, and I think you will get more passionate. You can also fuel your passion by doing more toward your goal.

-I think that one thing that's important, if you own a business, is you have to have this idea that keeps you up. It wakes you up early. You wake up early with that why in your head. And when you go to bed, do you have a hard time sleeping because you're so passionate about something you're doing?


-Do you wake up early, sometimes, ready to go? And I think you know if you found your why if it keeps you up late and wakes you up early thinking about it. I think that's how you know if you have it. I think that's the big test. Right now, if you're going-- I don't know if I have the right why, I'm telling you-- if it doesn't keep you up late at night and you don't wake up early thinking about it, it's probably not the right thing for you.

Final question I have here for you. If I'm watching this today, working at a job that I'm not really excited about, or maybe I'm in a funk, I'm in a little bit of a rut, and I feel like I can't do it-- do you think anybody can become a successful entrepreneur?

-Yes. If they think they can, then they can. I can tell you that I think anyone can do it, but it's more about their mindset.

-I will tell you-- having spent time with Remmi over the past few months-- not as much time as I would love to have spent, but I've been trying to google you-- it's interesting. You've been asked to come speak at Google as part of the Google Talks. Your products are in Whole Foods. You're endorsed by Sodexho, the big national catering company. You have all these great things going on, but I feel like you haven't lost touch with who you are.

And you still want to give back. And that's what gets you going, right? That's what keeps you fired up. And I think as long as you stay tapped into that original why, as you said, that's what's going to keep you connected there.

Hey, Remmi. I appreciate you coming today and letting us talk to you about your why and helping mentor people that are in need of that sort of thing. I can't say enough how impressed I am with what you've done. I think you said you're about a quarter of the way there, maybe? I'm going to say you're about 10% of the way there, because I know that you're going to be doing world-changing things. I'm so excited for you. Thank you.

-Thank you.

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