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This business coaching lesson will teach entrepreneurs how to exceed the norm.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 1. Find out what your customer wants and then give them more than they expect.

overcome obstacles mentorship like netflix

-I'm Caleb Taylor. And today, I have the opportunity to sit in some comfy green chairs right next to Clay Clark, the pale CEO and visionary of thrive15.com. Today we're going to be talking with Clay about how to systematically exceed the expectations of your clients, and grow your business exponentially.

We believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. That's why we ask you, as you're watching this episode, always be thinking to yourself, how can I apply these lessons and these principles to my business and to my personal life. Because if you don't ask yourself that, this episode could be more meaningless than a sugar-free cookie cake.


All right, Clay. I always love being able to sit here, right here in these wonderful green chairs. Very comfortable.

-To say that we're marinating together would be an understatement of how awesome this moment is.

-These are green, right?

-Yeah. They are green, Yoda green.

-OK. I'm colorblind, so I don't know for sure.

-Are you really?

-Yeah. No, that's a real story. Mhm.


-Yeah, it's real. I overcome difficulties--

CLAY CLARK: I'm going to take advantage of that--

- --in life, every day.

CLAY CLARK: --in the future.



So today, we're here talking about the goal is to systematically exceed the expectations of your client. When you do that, you have exponential growth.


-I know that this is something that you live by, and it infiltrates every area of your life.


-A lot of that came from Napoleon Hill's book, correct?

-"Think and Grow Rich," by Napoleon Hill. I read that book and, up to that point in my life I had been somebody who liked to do what I was supposed to do. But I very rarely did more than I was supposed to do. I would say almost never did I do more than I was supposed to do. And now I kind of make it a habit to always try to do more than I'm paid to do.

-Well, it's easy to fall into this trap of feeling good about it, and being complacent, and feeling like you've accomplished something when you've done what you said you would do.


-But you're asking us to go to differ level, here.

CLAY CLARK: That's the goal.

-So let's jump down to these points. The first point that we're going to look at is finding out what your customer wants and then give them more than they expect, OK. So I got a notable quotable here. This is from Sara Blakely.


-And she's Spanx. She made the Spanx.

-She was the youngest woman to become a billionaire.

-Wow, OK.

-Boom. So we should listen to her. And she says, quote, "I broke into an industry that was completely money-focus. Nobody was paying attention to the women and thinking about how these undergarments felt, or how they fit." I don't think of that often, really. It's not on my mind.

-This is something you just-- you're pigheaded.

-I don't think about it.

-You don't think about it.

-But nobody else is thinking about it either. So she continues to say, "All of a sudden I showed up and charged more for one pair than anybody could comprehend and women lined up in droves to buy them. I think I left the industry in shock, but I really believed that we needed to make it better not cheaper."


-So the key here is, what Sarah did, she realized that the niche that she was focused on didn't need a cheaper product. They wanted high-quality product. And when she deliver that, it blew up.

-Well, I think any time we make a product-- if you're watching this and you have a desire to make a product, we have some unbelievable trainings on Thrive that are going to be coming out here by Jill Donovan. This lady created the rustic cuff, which is a product that a lot of celebrities wear. And a lot of people have this desire, this kind of fantasy, to make a product that everyone in America is going to want to buy.

But I'm telling you, if you make a product and go in with the idea that you're going to wow people and exceed their expectations and not just merely compete by having the cheapest price possible, it's a lot more fun at that price point than when you are trying to compete with the cheapest price point.

-I feel like we're doing that here with Thrive. And we're trying to bring you guys content that is something you can't find anywhere else.


-A different level of in-depth knowledge and excitement that's kind of fun, and with an attractive pale man. I mean, else is offering that.

-There's a lot of places that are saying, we'll offer an attractive pale man.

-But they're not delivering.

-They're not delivering on it.

-Come on!

-Certainly not over-delivering what you're seeing here.


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 2. Aim to wow
  • Lesson Nugget: When we make a product that fails to wow our customers and exceed their expectations, the customer's decision to buy your product is based only on the price.
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 3. Over Deliver and You Will Soon Be Overpaid
  • Lesson Nugget: Exceed the expectations of your customers. If this is your only focus, you will get paid like a boss.
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 4. If It's Not Duplicatable and Scalable, It's Not Worth Doing
  • Lesson Nugget: If your work is unscalable, it's not a growing business anymore, it's just a job. A job that no one else will ever do.
  • Notable Quotable: "if you use your money to create exceptional products and services, you won't need to spend it on advertising." - Seth Godin (Author of Purple Cow)
  • Recommended Reading: The Most Successful Small Business In The World - Michael Gerber

-Let's go ahead and move on there.

-We can stay there for a while.

-No, no, no, no. We're moving along here. Number 2, aim to wow.


-Whether that's for products or services, you must always aim to wow. One of my favorite authors-- of the book Purple Cow-- Seth Godin, he said, "If you use your money to create exceptional products and services, you won't even need to spend it on advertising." He's saying that you need to invest up front in making this product knock the socks off of your clients and your customers, right?

-Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the whole idea here is that if we make a product merely to satisfy-- again, going back to this concept-- then people are left to focus on price. There's a phrase that says-- in the absence of value, all the customer is left to focus on is price. So we don't want to put our customer in a situation where they're going-- looks the same. Let's go ahead and get the cheaper one.

-This one's cheaper. Why not?

-Let's try to make a product that's two or three times better than what's on the market today.

-It never even gets to the price issue, because the value is so much more.

-If you're sitting there talking right now, if you have a product or service idea, and you're imagining competing with somebody, imagine if your customer says-- well, how do you stack up versus the competition? And what if you could say-- like at Thrive, we say this-- for less than you spend on cable, we're going to offer you world-class education.

For college, if you go to a private school, you might have a one world-class teacher, or two, but we have a whole host of world-class teachers. And it's not $30,000 a year or $35,000 a year. It's $50 a month.

-Or think of how much you'd pay for business coach to come in and work with your business. A lot of times, business coaches charge $2,000 to $5,000 a month. And we're $50 a month. And you have a chance to win. And it's fun. And it's entertaining. And you can be mentored by millionaires. And there's a chance to come to a conference. And a chance to win money. It just doesn't end.

-The value is mind-blowing.

-And there's an app. And you can take notes on the app. You get points for sharing. And-- I could keep going, but I'm not going to.

-That's aim to wow.


-Number 3. Now we're getting into your hero, here-- Napoleon Hill. He said, "Overdeliver, and you will soon be overpaid."


-That is point 3 and our notable quotable, all in one. What does that quote mean to you, Clay?

-The quote means that we have an obligation to ourselves-- not to the customer, to ourselves-- to overdeliver. We have an expectation of ourself. If we want to get paid-- as an owner, I would hope you do-- you have an obligation to yourself to exceed the expectation of nobody else except that customer. You don't have to worry about your noncustomers. But you have to exceed the expectations of your customer-- not for them, but for yourself. Because if you do this, if you exceed the expectation of the customer, then you are going to get paid a lot more. If you merely satisfy or merely do just what is needed, you're not going to get a huge paycheck.

-How old were you when this resonated with you, when you understood this concept?

-About 20. I finally quit doing the whole stinking thinking, where I was like-- I'm going to try to show up just on time, get it done just in time, get just enough. When I decided to make a conscious effort to always do more than I was expected to do, I was about 20 years old.

-I don't know exactly you did that in the DJ business, but I know I've seen you do it with the individual clients you've worked with, even speaking events. Lots of times speakers show up-- like you said-- right on time, or sometimes late. As soon as their speech is done, they're out of there.

CLAY CLARK: Peace and out.

-You provide the whole day there for them. You give them a video afterward. You always overdeliver. And you're doing it with Thrive.

-And sometimes when I do speaking events-- this is secret-- sometimes I mail the customer pumice and beef jerky.

-It's true. It's true. The initial Thrive subscribers received some of this above and beyond treatment.

-I tell you what-- our idea at Thrive is to wow you. Not for you, but for me. I want to wow you, because if I wow you, I know you're going to come back and bring friends. So we want to exceed your expectations in every way possible.




-Number 4. If it's not duplicable and scalable, it's not worth doing. This is something that you have hammered in our heads here, looking around at the videography team, the editors. You've hammered it in our heads so much that it's now a verb. We don't even have to say "cool." We just say, "Dude, that's scalable."

-It's funny, because you guys argue over whether things are scalable or not.

CALEB TAYLOR: And we tattle. "Hey, he's not being scalable!"

CLAY CLARK: "You're not being scalable there, Daryl!"

CALEB TAYLOR: "It's scalable! It's not duplicable!" We know that's not allowed. If it's not scalable, we can't do it.

-Here's an example of what not to do. Years ago, I met a lady who made gourmet bakery items. And what she did is she built a product that was gourmet service. And she said-- I'm the one that has to meet with every customer. I'm the one who has to make every product. For the product to be good, I have to meet with everybody, because no one makes it like I do. I have to meet with every customer. I have to answer every phone call. I have to pay the bills. I have to, I have to, I have to. What she did is built a nonscalable, nonduplicable business.

What that does is it creates two problems. One, you're going to have a job that no one wants, because you don't get any days off and no one can fill in for you, or two, you have a hobby in which you don't get paid very much for your time committed to it. Either way, it's a bad deal.

-How much was she saying that she was spending on each cake?

-It was a staggering number. I

-Can't remember, but it blew my mind. Are you kidding?

-It was hundreds and hundreds of dollars that were being spent on each gourmet item because of this belief that only this person could do it.

-Correct. Michael Gerber wrote the book The Most Successful Small Business in the World.

-Love it.

-I think that's one of the best ones for this topic. If you are building your business, he believes you need to make it scalable from day 1. You've got to read this book.

-Absolutely. Absolutely. I'll change your life when you buy into the concept of creating a scalable and duplicable workflow system from day 1.


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 5. Document Your System
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 6. Your System Must Be Repeatable and Trainable
  • Lesson Nugget: The faster you fail, the quicker you will learn what works and what doesn't. Until you have a system correctly documented, it is not duplicatable.
  • Notable Quotable: "The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice." - Seth Godin (Author of Purple Cow)
  • Lesson Nugget: You need checklists in your business to make sure the systems that you have put in place get done the correct way every single time.
  • Principles Of Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: 7. You Must Condense Value-Add Into a Series of Checklists to be Appropriately Delegated


-Number 5 here, this fifth principle, you've got to create a document. You've got to document your system. You have to write it down, actually.

-Apparently Moses did that, too.

-Oh yeah, he did.

-He went back to-- he went to the mountain-- was it Mount Sinai?


-And apparently the father of the planet, he gave him some rules. And he wasn't like, oh yeah, let me find something to the write it with.

-I'll remember.

-We're all out. I'll remember.

-I'll just remember it.

-Come on down to the mountain, and other people are down there. And they're saying, hey, Moses, what did he teach you up there? I then he's like, I don't recall.

-There were 8 or 10 things.

-There were 8 or 10 things. Some of the things are not-- no. He apparently inscribed into tablets-- or at least that's what we believe he did-- and they called them the Ten Commandments. And we still have them today. Isn't that crazy, we remember stuff from thousands of years ago, that we still remember stuff? Why? Because it was written down.

-So it's important that you define success, right, and then you document it?

CLAY CLARK: Absolutely.

-So with Thrive, before we were able to mass produce episodes, we had to make this workflow.

-Yeah. And the workflow was tough to make.

-And you had to sit down and ask yourself what a perfect episode would look like and then go step-by-step on how to achieve that, then document it.

-And we had to fail faster. Every time we ran into problems, with had to fail faster. My wife is a sweet angel truth and justice and duplicate coaching. She says to me, are we failing fast enough? And I'm like, I am not sleeping.

-That's awesome.

-I am not sleeping. I am-- and she's like, baby, I don't know if I asked that. I was just saying, are we failing fast enough?

-That's awesome.

-And I'm just like, what? You! So I I got about six minutes of sleep and came back to the office.

-There you go. I mean, you've got to document the system or it will not be replicable.

-It has to replicable or it's not a business, it's just a hobby, or a job nobody wants.

-It'll be totally worthless if you don't.


-Number six, your system must be repeatable and trainable.

-This is a little different, because repeatable mains that you can do the same thing over, and over, and over without much variation-- like same quality, high quality, high quality, high quality. Imagine an assembly line of cookies-- same cookie, same cookie, same cookie. The cookie cutter's the same every time.

-And I immediately thought of even the boxes that we send out for speaking events, right? You have a system set up to where each item-- I don't know, there's maybe 10 different items that we put inside of a box-- when you book a speaking events.

-(WHISPERS) He's giving away all of our secrets. Note to everyone watching this--

-That's how much we think of you.

-Everyone watching this, just send him a complaint, you know?

-But we've got it so that each time when we book, this you get the box, you put this item, then you put this item in. And there's a checklist, and we follow it every single time.


-It's trainable. It's repeatable.


-Against, Seth Godin said, "The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice."

-You have to do it over and over. Because it doesn't feel normal as a human to try to wow another human. I'll give example. I client today, a beautiful man. This guy is a great client, love this guy, just a great American. I really can't tell you how much of a pleasure it is to work with this guy. This is a great father, great client, great person.

He came in today, we gave him a gift basket with my newest book and a whole bunch of who-ha he didn't expect. I think we sent some pumice there, some beef jerky. And he was just going, wow.

-Nobody does that.

-Do you want something from me?



-Yeah. We're here to bless your socks off.

-But then, I'm telling you, he enjoyed it a lot. And so it becomes a relationship. And if you're not careful, then a customer becomes your friend. And a friend becomes your-- are you more loyal to friends than you are to just acquaintances? I would hope so.

So you probably-- I bet if you're watching this right now, I bet you have one business that you're very loyal to. You come back over, and over, and over. Why? (WHISPERS) Because there's free samples. Sam's has samples on Saturdays. Don't tell anyone.

CALEB TAYLOR: I love it.

-But you come back because of the free samples. You come back because Starbucks has sampes-- they have new samples. You go to these places because they over-deliver. Sometime Southwest Airlines gives you (WHISPERS) free drinks.

The whole idea is that you come back to places that consistently exceed your expectations. Don't tell anyone, though, because if everyone begins exceeding everyone's expectations, we'll have to work really hard.


-Number 7 here, you must condense value-add into a series of checklists to be appropriately delegated.



Number seven here, you must convince value-add into a series of checklist to be appropriately delegated. Checklist are vital.

-If it's not a checklist, it's just an oral tradition that will get mangled overtime. You need a checklist, a specific, written down, duplicatable process. Do step 1, do step 2, do step 3-- if you don't do it, if you don't have a checklist, you are just going to absolutely lose over and over and over.

-And a practical action step for you, this checklist, I mean, it's actually got to have a place for you to initial each item, right. We've talked with Lee Cockerell. If you haven't had a chance to look at his episodes, go watch his episodes.

-Every time I watch them, I get inspired.


-It pumps me up.

-It does. But he kept the bathrooms clean at Disney World where he managed 40,000 people. They were cleaned, what, every 10 minutes or so?

-(WHISPERING) There was 40,000 employees. It's not even possible.

-He managed them all. Chick-fil-A, Arthur Greeno, another mentor here. He has a checklist for everything that his franchise does.

-(WHISPERING) Chick-fil-A is controlled by aliens. It's not possible to keep a place that clean.

-It is with a checklist.


-So if you apply the seven principles, you're going to be able to wow your customers, wow your clients, and it'll come back to you 10-fold.

-Yeah. And any of the secrets that I've been sharing kind of privately into the microphone, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't share them with anybody outside of Thrive. Or just keep it to friends and family--

CALEB TAYLOR: That's fair.

- --and people you have relationships with, and people you've maybe just met.

-So just share it with only a couple of all of your friends.


-Good. Awesome. Well, thank you, Clay. I appreciate your time.

-Hey, you are awesome, and you smell terrific.

-Aha. That's too kind.



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