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This business coaching epiode will provide information on how to grow a winning team.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Me To We: If you are going to convince people to work for you, you will have to master the seven principles of "Me to We."
  • First Employee: Your first employee may have to be an idiot! They will have to believe in your big idea while you have no experience and very little money.

lynda.com style teaching how to start a business


-My name is Clay Clark. I'm the CEO of Thrive15.com. I'm the former United States Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year and I've never been a male model. And today, I'm here to teach you specifically about how to implement your big ideas and how to start a business when your first and only employee is an idiot.

In a lot of businesses today, we have a lot of ambitious entrepreneurs who want to go out there ando start a business. But because we don't have a lot of capital and we don't know what to do and we don't really have a partner, we end up hiring a dude or a lady, somebody that we just met who might or might not be the most intelligent, most savvy business mogul in the world. But yet, we have to go from one to two and from "me" to "we." And otherwise, your big ideas won't happen. And so we're going to teach you specifically about how to deal with the specific daily things that happen when you're kind of going from one person to two and from "me" to "we." It's going to be awesome.

At Thrive15.com, we all believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you are watching today's episode, you need to ask yourself, what do you need to do to apply these principles in your own life and business? Otherwise, today's episode may just be more meaningless than posting a picture of your lunch on Facebook.

All right. Today, we are talking about big ideas and implementing them when your first and only employee is an idiot. What? Oh, what I'm saying is that we are here to teach you how to implement your big ideas when your first and only employee is an idiot. Let me tell you this. When you need to know how to start a business, all right, here we go. Let's talk about it. This is you. This is you. Oh, this is you. You are-- we're going to start a business. And so you have this great idea. Oh, man, you right now, you have this idea. It's come to you-- ka-king! And all of a sudden, like a ray of light from heaven-- ah! You have this idea.

This idea, this big idea, is going to be awesome. Oh, it's going to be good. Oh, man, I don't know exactly what your idea is, but you have a big idea right now. Because if you didn't have a big idea, you would not be starting a business. You have an idea. You say, man, my city's not ready for this idea. Oh, man, this is going to change the game. All right. So when you have a big idea-- let me tell you something about big ideas. When you have a big idea, it usually corresponds with having what right here? A really small, small, wallet, right? You have a very, very small wallet, OK?

Now, most entrepreneurs that I know, we have this. We have-- obviously, we have little time. Come on, maybe I'm helping you here. Little time and we also have little, little money. Sometimes, we even have little time and then we have even less money. So we have no time and then, even less money. We are-- we are-- we have a big idea and yet we have little time and less money. But we have to start a company. We can't wait until we have a bunch of money. We can't wait until we have a bunch of time so we just get started, right?

So let me ask you this. When you have a big idea-- no experience, by the way-- you have a big idea, usually with no experience-_ you have a big idea, no experience, a little time, and less money, what are you going to do? Well, you're going to hire the first person with a pulse to help you who's willing to work for no pay, right? I mean, if you can find a dude or a lady who says, hey, man, you've got a little time, very little money, you've got no experience, and you have a big idea. Sounds good.

As a general rule, when that happens, you are going to have an idiot or somebody who is near an idiot who's going to be working for you in some capacity. And I don't care what business you have, it is going to happen. So what you're going to have to do is you're going to have to realize, hey, not only is the person who's working over here for you, one of your first people, an idiot, but you also might be an idiot because I was an idiot.

So I have no idea what I was doing. This person doesn't know what they're doing either, but we have got to somehow find an ability to be able to grow from "me" to "we." We've got to somehow grow here from "me" to "we," right? We have to do that. But let me ask you this-- would you-- would you want to work for somebody who has no experience, no time, or no money? No. You don't want to work for someone who has no time, no money, no experience. We want to work for someone who's actually had success.

So if we're going to convince people to want to work with us, we're going to have to master these seven principles. These are seven principles right now that will help you grow from "me" to "we." And you can do it but you're going to have to become an expert of these seven. Am I helping you? I know you're watching this. You're feeling like, man, he's talking to me here. How does he know that I have little time, little money, no experience, and a big idea? Well, because we all start there. That's where it all starts.

So point number one, principle number one we have to master as we grow from "me" to "we," from "me" to "we." Full disclosure-- any coughing that you hear here has nothing to do with the Starbucks coffee. It's phenomenal.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Me To We Principles: 1. The "Vision Caster"
  • Lesson Nugget: All successful entrepreneurs display some level of charisma.
  • Me To We Principles: 2. The Charisma Thing"
  • Lesson Nugget: People will join forces with you if your idea is big enough.
  • Lesson Nugget: If you don't want to get stuck earning a wage, you have to jump on stage!
  • Me To We Principles: 3. The Partnership Buy-in
  • Me To We Principles: 4.The Managing Partner
  • Lesson Nugget: The buy-in is important because you are probably unable to pay people to create your big idea. To get them committed, they need to see a big "upside."
  • Equity: A stock or any other security representing an ownership interest.
  • Lesson Nugget: You are a leader once people are following you. Charismatic people (and successful entrepreneurs) get other people to follow them.
  • Lesson Nugget: A managing partner doesn't own the company, but has a percentage of revenue that comes in.


-One. The Vision Caster. You have to become a master of being a Vision Caster. You're going to have explain to all your employees-- guys. This is a big idea. This is going to change the way that the world does this. Our place is going to make hamburgers better than any place has ever made a hamburger before.

Our website is going to be the best in the world. Our computers-- to quote a one Steven Jobs. Remember, Steve Jobs started the company-- this is his parents' house right here in Palo Alto, right. And then over here is a garage. You got this garage over here. And over here you've got the house going on, right.

And it's right there. It's in California, so it's probably very minimal trees. Probably a lot of rock. Rock decorations, that kind of thing.

But there is, right. He has to say, guys. Come join me in this garage, because we're going to reinvent reinvent, reinvent the entire way that computers are made. We're going to reinvent the entire industry.

We're going to come up with this thing called the personal computer. Bam! That's vision casting. We have to be able to vision cast. You have to cast a vision so big and so exciting that people want to come and join forces with you.

How do you know if it's big enough? If people want to come and join forces with you.

Now we moving on to principle number two. This is that whole charisma thing. I know a lot of entrepreneurs who are successful. A lot of them.

And let me tell you one thing I know about all of them. And I say all of them. When I say all, I mean all. Like not just some, but all. All? All? All.

All entrepreneurs I know are able to display some level of personal charisma. I don't know any super introverted entrepreneurs. Now some of us might be more introverted. But when we get in front of our people, we have to step on the stage. All right.

But if you don't want to get stuck earning a wage, you're going to have to what? Step on the stage. Hopefully, I'm helping you.

If you don't want to get stuck earning a wage, you have to what? You have to be able to step on the stage. Some of you might be saying, I don't like to public speak. I don't like to-- No. You're going to have to, because you're going to have to lead a group of men or woman-- women. And you're going to have to be able to have some charisma here. You're going to have to be.

So what does it mean to be charismatic? You have to be able to lead people, OK. You have to be able to lead people.

So what's a leader? Are you a leader? Look back and see if anyone's following you. If people are following you, then you are a leader. If they're not following you, then you're probably not a leader. All right.

So now we're moving on to principle number three. You're going to have to find a way to find some sort of partner buy-in for your employees. Now buy-in meaning like, for Steve Jobs. He let the original guys who he started the company with, they actually were part owners of the company. Did you know that? Did you know that Apple-- the guys that first started working there?

So you had Steve Wozniak. And you had Steve Jobs. And then you had some dudes.

And these dudes all were partners in some capacity. You know Facebook worked that way, too? What?

Yeah. Zuckerberg Facebook. His early partners, they were partners together. They actually bought-in together.

Why is that so important? Well, it's so important because you don't have the ability to pay people a lot of money. And if you can't pay people a lot of money, you have to offer them some kind of value.

And so this guy, these guys, were offering people equity. What is equity? Equity is a part of the ownership. You had to offer them some part of the ownership. Not 80%. Not 90%. But maybe 5%.

But if you're not going to be able to offer people enough money to pay the rent, you better offer them a few percent of equity. That make sense? So we have to be able to do that, all right?

Now, the fourth principle is we want to maybe look at the concept of having a managing partner. What's a managing partner? That's where somebody contributes a little bit of capital into the business. And then now they manage it. OK?

So what's a company that does a managing partner? Do you know that Outback Steakhouse right now, that if you work at Outback for a certain amount of time, and you ultimately want to run that Outback, Outback wants you to run it?

Do you know that? If you do a good job as a manager at Outback, over time, they want you to run it. But they want you to have a sense of ownership. They want you to care about the brand as much as they do.

And so the only way they've been able to do this-- their system they've developed is a thing called a managing partner. So this person who wants to become the managing partner, this guy over here, we'll call him Eddie. Eddie has to actually put in-- Eddie has to put in some cash. So he'll put in something like $20,000.

And in exchange for that $20,000, he's able to receive a certain percentage-- I'm making up a number-- but a certain percentage of the revenue for as long as he works there. It's a managing partner. He doesn't own equity in the company. But he does get a percentage of the gross revenue because he put in money.

And that right there is an exciting example of how to incentivize people in a startup as well.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Me To We Principles: 5. The "Big Time" Merit-based Pay with a Base Salary
  • Lesson Nugget: To gain new employees when you are unproven, you will have to offer some sort of big upside (pay, equity, etc) to make them want to join you.
  • Lesson Nugget: Commission only works if you have a really big idea and unbelievable charisma
  • Lesson Nugget: If you have no money to grow, try to hire someone on commission only. But for it to work, the upside has to be huge!
  • Me To We Principles: 6. The Commission Only Pay


-Now, if you find yourself-- you're trying to grow from me to we right now, and you say, gosh, I have this big vision, but I have little time, little experience, little capital. We're going to have to be creative, and that's why we have to learn these ideas. The next tier, the next way to be able to incentivize and encourage people to come join your team is we're going to have to do big time merit-based pay, plus a salary base.

So here's an example. In our company, DJ Connection, when I was trying to grow it from the dorm room, I got into the apartment. OK, so now I'm in the apartment. And I'm trying to go from the apartment to a big time business. Well, again. I have little time.

By the way, just to give you a little context here, I'm driving these vans that are all old school, beat up vans. And they're all hand painted. So they say DJ Connection on them, but I've actually painted on the vans myself, and they just look terrible. So I have this van, and I'm meeting people upstairs here, in my apartment.

So to come up to the DJ office, you had to come up to my apartment here, which was obviously an apartment. And the place where the DJs came to load up their equipment was obviously a mini storage. Do you know what I'm talking about? Mini storage, where there's a whole bunch of storage units here.

So the guys had to-- remember, their impression here is here's a guy driving a beat-up van with 175,000 miles on it. He works in an apartment here. And he has a mini storage. This is where we're going to meet. All right? So are they having a lot of faith in the financial stability of the company? Do they feel like there is a lot of money there? No, no, no.

But they do feel like this guy has a big vision. This guy has some charisma. This guy's allowing me to partner in some capacity. This guy is allowing me to be a managing partner. This guy is offering me a base pay plus merit-based pay. OK? He's offering me a salary base.

So this is what I offer them. I've paid the guys $320 per week plus a commission of $100 on every show they booked. And then at the 15th show, that gave them 150. So if they booked 15 in a week, they would get $150 bonus on top of their $100. So I want you to know, and I'm being serious, we had guys working for me who were able to make $1,000 a week, even though I was in an apartment driving a DJ van and officing in a mini storage facility.

But you have to offer some sort of big pay. There's got to be some sort of big something there, otherwise nobody with a sound and functional reasonable mind would actually want to do it. All right? We're moving on to principle number six. Principle number six, the commission only pay.

Oh, man. This is commission only. Now, I'm just saying this. This only works if you have an amazing vision and if you have on unbelievable charisma. This happens a lot in multilevel marketing. But you tell somebody, you say, well, I can't afford to hire anybody right now.

Well, you say, OK. Here's the deal. I'm going to pay you just on commission. There is no base. So some of you all watching right now, some of you are watching this going, I don't have enough money to hire anybody. Well, guess what? You could do commission only. But that commission had better be sick. You know?

So if you work at a Kirby-- have you ever seen a Kirby vacuum? This dude's going door to door to try to convince me to buy this amazing vacuum here that just sucks the dirt and the grime. Just [VACUUM NOISE].

He goes door to door. Bing, bong. Hey, would you guys like to buy this? Right? Bing bong. Then he goes to the next door. Bing, bong. Do you want to buy this? Door to door. Bing, bong. Do you want to buy this? And everyone says, no, no, no, no, no, no, no we don't want to buy it. We hate your Kirby. We hate your Kirby. We hate your product.

And then, yes! Yes! Oh, man. Yes! We do want to buy a Kirby. And once a day, somebody says, yes, we want to buy a Kirby. And when they say, yes, we want to buy a Kirby, this guy gets paid a lot. A lot. I like-a you a lot. This guy gets paid a lot. That's how it works.

So you better offer some serious commission. Because this guy-- if you had a Kirby guy come to your house, or if you're watching this and you are the Kirby guy, I'm telling you this. You're making some money every time you sell one, which is why you're doing it on almost all commission basis.

But you would not be doing it if the commission was small. So don't be one of these jerk bosses who's offering your people no base pay with no big commission. You have to find a way to do it.


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