We've all had something terrible that has happened in our lives. Some people grew up amongst abuse, neglect, alcoholism, or an endless variety of terrible situations. Yet, we all must learn to let go of the past and to embrace the possibilities and the hope that the future presents.
Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
Lesson Nugget: Knowing where you are going, or what your aim is, will give you the inspiration needed to defeat adversity.
Lesson Nugget: When something bad happens, ask yourself, "what role did I have in that?"
"You can either get bitter or you can get better." -Nate Waters
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-So if I'm an entrepreneur out there and I find myself getting sued, is that normal?
ARTHUR GREENO: That is absolutely normal. One of things I want to touch on is that, when it comes to those bad experiences, what it's helped me do is put those systems in place so those things aren't set up to happen again. For example, I had one person one time-- they stole a check from me. A catering check that came in-- they stole it. Well, you know what? Stupid me, I don't store my checks on the wall anymore where the employees have access to it. So I learned from it, and I've adjusted, and so I think that that's one of the things I kind of look and go, well, where was my fault in this?
-I've heard it said that entrepreneurs and business mentors have an expensive education.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-Because we learn about lawsuits by getting sued. We learn about employee manuals by not having them.
ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.
-Another thing is, is an entrepreneur with all those daily issues that you deal with-- do you ever feel like you're getting nowhere?
CLAY CLARK: In your quiet time when you're starting Chick-fil-A, and just old school, old school. There's a place called Eastland Mall.
CLAY WORK: Eastland Mall. No longer around.
-When I was at Eastland Mall, I felt like I was getting nowhere. There were times when I was with Chick-fil-A that I was opening up the newspaper going, I need a new job. This is horrible.
-Eastland Mall, for the record-- it felt kind of like a mall at midnight, like a normal mall at midnight in terms of just vast and empty.
ARTHUR GREENO: Yeah, pretty much.
-It had those tops-- the big tops like a circus sort of top there. And you had a Chick-fil-A there in the food court of an empty mall.
-We did. We did. Yeah, you know the mall is going downhill when a library opens up inside the mall. You know that's not an active mall.
-That's so good. So you might have felt like you were going nowhere, but how did you take those feelings of doubt and begin to turn them into feelings of inspiration? You know I'm saying? Because I know you do that.
-Yeah, well for one is you need to know where you're going. What is your intention? If I was planning on being at Eastland Mall for the rest of my life, I would certainly not be motivated, but that's not where I wanted to be.
-I don't know why you don't like Eastland Mall.
-Well, I like the quiet, but it wasn't serving my pocketbook.
-One of my moves at Eastland Mall was, as a kid, we used to go there because there was-- like it was basically you get great deals because the mall is going out of business. Every store is going out of business. So we'd go to Eastland, and I would know that they have the fountain where you could throw quarters in it, and not kidding-- I would take all the quarters out of there.
ARTHUR GREENO: You were the one.
-Yeah, and I took other people's wishes away from them. So that's what I-- no. Final question I have here for you-- I know that personally, for a long time, it was very hard for me to emotionally deal with just anger, with even saying negative things when bad things would happen. Do you have a rule or a phrase in your mind that every time something bad happens-- do you have a little thing you say or a little way you deal with it? When it instantly happens-- so imagine we're right now dealing with the theft. It's right now happening. Something is being stolen. I've take it away. What do you say? How do you--
-Well, the very first thing that would pop into my head, is what role did I have in that? And then as soon as I realize it, I'm like, well, that'll never happen again. And it's not super motivating, but I'm looking at it as a tool of, how can I be better? And I think that, if you have the mentality of, how can I be better? Rather than, oh, woe is me. This happened to me. You're already stepping in the right action.
-There is a guy, and I want to share this story because it really impacted my life. Did you ever meet Nate Waters?
ARTHUR GREENO: Mm-mm.
-Nate was a guy who's a quadriplegic. He was basically a victim of domestic abuse. His mother's boyfriend broke his spine. If you get a chance to Google Nate Waters, fascinating story. But Nate-- basically he had his spine broken when he was 17 or 18, and he ended up moving into a nursing home, and he stayed there for the remainder of his life. And I met him at a restaurant, and my daughter, who's like five at the time, didn't have a filter. And she asked, well, how come you can't move your legs? And I'll never forget he was explaining to my daughter, well, you know I had my spine broken, and this is what happened, but I know God has a plan for my life. And you can either get bitter or you can get better.
And I just remember that phrase. For me, remember, you get bitter or you get better, and it sounds like that relates to what you do.
-You're either like, I'm going to get upset, or I can improve my system.
-In your book, DysfunctionalInspiration, I just want to tell you that book has encouraged me, even as a busines mentor, to take that dysfunction and turn it into inspiration, and I would encourage anybody watching this if you get a chance to check out that book, it's absolutely powerful. I know you're going to enjoy it. Thank you for your time.