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This episode is a business coaching course that teaches the power of why.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Lesson Nugget: Having intense enthusiasm at your job will bring you more success than your coworker who is simply physically present.
  • Notable Quotable: "Vision without execution is just hallucination." - Thomas Edison (Inventor of the motion picture camera)
  • Lesson Nugget: Knowing your why, plus intense enthusiasm, will cause you to win.
  • Notable Quotable: "Vision without execution is just hallucination." - Thomas Edison (Inventor of the motion picture camera)
  • Mystic Statistic: "71% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work." - Gallup Poll

find your why video like coursera, find alternatives to lynda.com

-What's up, guys? My name is Daniel McKenna, and today you get to sit down with Clay Clark, one of our business mentors, and Caleb Taylor, and we're talking about the power of 'why.' This Thrive15.com, one of the alternatives to lynda.com, training is all about showing you why it is so important for you to know what your 'why' is, and then we're going to show you how to clearly and effectively establish what your 'why' is-- really good stuff here. Let's get after it.

-Clay, my 'Brostradamus,' how are you, my friend?

-I am feeling it like a petting zoo right now.


-Just feeling it like, [HORSE NEIGHING].

-But you're also kind of feeling-- you've got a little back issue today?

-Yeah, my back hurts-- pulled my back. I feel like I might have had a partial kind of a-- I think I dislocated my spine.

-I've heard that that is something you always want to avoid.

-Dislocated shoulder, that's nothing. Dislocate your spine--

-I've done that, but I've never dislocated my spine.

-It was probably just in my sleep. I like danger.

-I'll let you know. If we need to call a time-out, and I'll just jump on your back, and we'll crack it. But for now, let's just plunge on ahead. We're talking about the power of the 'why.' The power of the 'why,' and I don't if you guys can see this. This is beautiful what you've done here-- little claymation drawings. It's really motivated me to dive into this topic.

-OK, I'm ready to do it.

-Power of the 'why'-- the size of your why will determine your attitude and the altitude at which you can fly. OK That's what we're talking about today. But Clay, why, I guess, as a broad perspective on this, why does this matter? Why does it matter to talk about the why?

-Because what happens is if you go to any job right now, if you go to any job at all, and you're at that job, and you're bringing intensity to it, you're going to be far more successful than someone who's not doing it with intensity. I'll give example, OK? These are kind of the big thoughts you have.

Over here you have somebody who's fighting with enthusiasm. Over here you just have somebody who's just physically present. So again, two fighters go into a fight. They're boxers. one has enthusiasm. One is just physically present. Pretty much always, the enthusiastic-- the idea is to win.

Basketball-- you watch a basketball player who's very into it. The guy who's got the enthusiasm will usually beat the guy who's just physically present. People for some reason on business and in office and in work don't do that. So you've got one graphic designer who's enthusiastic, and he's really, really getting more done, achieving his goals. He's just a better designer. He's getting better. The person who's just physically present is not.

So where does enthusiasm come from? Where does enthusiasm-- we've talked about this in a couple other episodes, but I want to hammer it. This word 'theos,' that means 'god' in Greek, OK? This is god. Well, EN means it's basically like it's like having god within you. Well what I have found is that people who have a god-like-- and I mean that in the most non-sacrilegious way possible, but they have a god-like a level of enthusiasm.

It's almost like god is in them. They truly understand why they're at work. They understand why they're at that job. They understand why they're there. People who understand why they're there, just win.

-And that's rare. "Forbes" had an article where they featured a Gallup poll recently. It said 71% of all workers are not engaged or are actively disengaged. I don't know how you actively disengage, but that's so rare for somebody to have this enthusiasm.

-As a business mentor let me give you an example; I do speaking events all the time. You and I go to those things, and we see people in the audience who are usually in the front, taking notes, wanting to be there. Those guys get a ton out of it. There are speakers that speak before me and after me. There's awesome workshop leaders that we've had the privilege to watch present, but there's people who just don't want to be there. But the people who want to be there and have decided that they're at that particular conference to learn something--

-They know why they're there.

-I have one guy who I talked to at that one when we did in San Diego, and the gentleman comes up and he's like, hey, if I can pick up two things, just two nuggets, it's worth the $1,000 I spent to be here. Because in his business, his business is already making millions, and he knows that if he can just learn a couple more things, it could change the trajectory of his business.

So again, to get enthusiasm, you have to know your 'why,' and you can't win without enthusiasm. So the next level you carry that over that equals winning, but you've got to have the 'why.' The 'why' is that step one here. That lead to enthusiasm. This right here leads to winning. Because when you're on fire, it's contagious. You can create that enthusiasm wherever you go.

-And then you've not only got to have the 'why,' which is kind of the vision, but then you've got to actually execute to make that a reality. I know Thomas Edison says, "vision without execution is just hallucination," and he's the guy that the vision of creating a light bulb maybe and actually executed it and failed 10,00 times. He's a good guy to be speaking on that.

-A lot of people don't realize, but Thomas Edison, if you think about the impact of that quote, because I'd like you to read it again in just a second, but the thing about Edison is it he is the man who invented the light bulb. Some people say he stole it from Tesla. Let's just say he made the light bulb. He's also the first guy to do recorded sound.


-The first guy to do video. So if you think about it, the one man did video. He did audio, and he did the light. How different would our world be with that video, audio, and light? I mean this studio, if you turn the lights off, and we weren't videoing, and we didn't have any audio, it wouldn't exist. Thomas Edison, we need to all be thankful for what he did.

When you read his quote-- can you read it again? I just want you to marinate because I don't lose the importance of his quote.

-"Vision without execution is just hallucination." "Vision without execution is just hallucination." How many people before him came up with an idea, hey wouldn't it be great if we could record audio, or we could-- yeah, but he did it.

-And that was an interesting thought; if we turn off the lights in here, if we turn off the cameras, the episodes would be much shorter. You'd probably take a lot less from them if we had no audio, no cameras, and not lights.

-It would be a work like when you're watching-- if you're somebody who you kind of are planning an elaborate, sort of a long-winded, sort of a playoff run, and you're going, I'm going to to watch every game in the playoffs that my team plays. And if that team that you were cheering for was the Cowboies, that's how short it would be.

-I migh just leave now, because he's kind of attacking my personal character. But I've got the 'why' in mind, and I'm going to keep pushing on


Are you looking for the top alternatives to lynda.com? Check out Thrive15.com.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Notable Quotable: "If you can manage yourself, nobody will have to manage you again."
  • Action Step: Stay focused; wherever you are, be 100% present.
  • Ask Yourself: Do I know what my "why" is at my job?
  • Lesson Nugget: If you have defined your goals and what you are most passionate about, you will have the motivation to bring intense passion and focus to work every day.
  • Notable Quotable: "The goal is to be able to live your life the way Michael Jordan played basketball, or Marvin Gaye sang a song. To be able to feel the way you feel when you laugh at a joke, but to feel that way all the time." -Russell Simmons(Founded Def Jam and Phat Farm and as of 2011 has a net-worth of over $340 million)


-This is a little overview of what we're going to talk about. And as a whole, we're talking about the power of your why, like it said. And honestly, we're talking about the impact that your why has, and how it actually affects how high you can fly, how much you can accomplish in your life. And we've touched on why the why is so important. But let's dive on into it. You ready? OK.

So, Clay, I want to hear from you, though, I guess, a firehose of knowledge here. Firehose of knowledge. Tell me about your work ethic, your old school work ethic at the Norseman. I know you've talked a little bit about the Norseman, kind of the Dark Ages there?

CLAY CLARK: In Dassel-Cokato, the town I lived in was called Cokato. And there was a highway called Highway 12. And Highway 12 ran kind of-- we're going east to west-- this is actually west. It's running west. There used to be a gas station. Cokato did not have a stoplight at the time, the town I lived in.

CLAY CLARK: So it's not exactly massive.

-2,038 people lived in that town. It was on the sign. And there's one restaurant everyone came in called the Norseman.

CLAY CLARK: Norseman.

-And this restaurant here, you know, it's kind of a Nordic theme restaurant. And you would go in there, the Norseman.

And I would go in there. My job was to clean the bathrooms and to be the busboy. There's always tables everywhere inside here. And my job was to keep all these tables clean, and to be the busboy, and to keep the bathrooms clean. So my strategic area was here, here, and then walking around, cleaning the tables, bringing it back to the kitchen. This is what I had to do all day, every day. This was my job.

But for whatever reason, I couldn't do it right. Why? I didn't know my why. I was just there to make $6.25 an hour. So I would drift. The whole day I'd be like-- And he'd go, Clay, to get to work. What are you doing, man? And I'm like, I'm sorry. He'd come by again. Clay, what are you working on? And I'm like, uh, I finished cleaning the bathroom, and so I'm just hanging out. Clay, find something to do.

And I would never find something to do. If you don't know your why, you're always going to be unengaged from your job, and therefore people are going to have to tell you what to do.

But here's the deal. If you can manage yourself, nobody else will ever, ever have to manage you again. So you have two options.

CALEB TAYLOR: If you can manage yourself--

-Nobody will have to manage you again.


CLAY CLARK: So what you want to do is you want to learn self-management. And that just means that you work 100% of the time at work. I'm not asking you to bring homework home. I'm just talking about what if we could work 100% of the time we're at work.

I've got to be honest with you, I am not going to ESPN.com at work. I am not screwing around. I'm not going out for extended lunches. I am working when I'm at work. And then when you're at home, if you want to be at home, you're going to be 100% home. That is the goal you want to do.

Now, sometimes I know when you own a business, people call you, and you can't be home. And I get. But what I'm saying is you want to try. The goal we want to try is to be at work when we're there, and 100% of time we're at work, we want to work.

CALEB TAYLOR: I love it. Notable quotable here. This is from Russell Simmons. OK? This is what he says, is he's talking about the why and your motivation. He says, "The goal is to be able to live your life the way Michael Jordan played basketball, or Marvin Gaye sang a song. To be able to feel the way you feel when you laugh at a joke, but to feel that way all the time."

A lot of people's why is to do their passion later. They work at a job to accomplish something so they can be happy, to be able to play golf, to be able to spend more time with their family. But we have to have that why, you're saying? Does it matter the size of the why at all?

CLAY CLARK: It just matters that it matters to you. So I know of a guy who's an interesting guy. His whole thing is he wanted to get off the grid, and he loved making furniture. So this guy-- true story-- he had a job in corporate America, and nothing wrong with that, but he decided that he wanted to make furniture and life off the grid.

So he moved out to the middle of nowhere. And my brother-in-law actually got married at his place. I won't say the name of it. But he basically bought this abandoned amusement park. This is like a shed. And he turned this shed into a workshop and his house.

Well, over time, there is a little pond over here, and he decided to flood the pond and kind of build up a little bit of a dam. Well, now today, there's this sprawling-- and you've been there-- but there's sprawling, massive lodge, you know, that's going on. It's this massive lodge. You got this road that leads up to it. He's got tons of trees. And he's making millions of dollars.

If you said to me, Clay, to make your millions, I want you to live in a, we'll call it a shed. Then I want you to dam up a lake or a pond and make it big, and I want you to make custom furniture till you have enough money to buy-- he bought an old, abandoned Kodiak steak lodge or whatever. So he bought one of those, hauled all the logs, and built this log cabin himself.

CALEB TAYLOR: And this was his why, though.

-Yeah. This was his why. And if you asked me to do that, I would totally not be engaged in the pursuit of that. I would say, I don't want to build a log cabin. That sounds terrible. But for this guy, this was his why. This motivated him. It got him up early. It kept him up late at night. This is his all-consuming passion.

And so what I-- you have to realize is that your job right now-- I had to realize when working at Target, that if I do the best job I can possibly do at Target, if I will just focus with the white hot intensity, if I will just take this magnifying glass and just bring down the sun's rays and focus them on Target until I'm on fire, then I can make the connections that I need to make and the money to get to my next place.

But I had to realize, if I am going to come to work every day at Target and not bring the focus, the magnifying glass of energy, if I'm not going to bring that to Target every day, I'm not going to make the connections, and I'm not going to make money, and I am going to be fired. In every job, you have to either get ahead or behind. Either you're getting fired or you're getting promoted. Either you're getting promoted or you're getting fired. What? I mean, you're either getting fired, laid off, or promoted.

CALEB TAYLOR: You're either moving forward or backwards.

-Forward or backwards.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Action Step: Write down your goals for your faith, family, finances, fitness, and relationships.
  • Notable Quotable: "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill (Led the United Kingdom through WWII)
  • Recommended Reading: The $100,000 Club - Bestselling author author shows you how to break through your personal glass ceiling and earn $100,000 a year. - D.A. Benton


INTERVIEWER: Now, you're saying without this, you can't have this focus without a why, a clearly defined why.

CLAY CLARK: Once I realized that I wanted to start a DJ business--

-This is what I was going to ask. I wanted a little honey badger moment here. What is your first big why, what was your first game changer why?

-First big deal. I just wanted to-- I was sitting in class, I remember at college, and I'll never forget it. I was sitting there listening to the teacher talk, and he was going, now chiaroscuro. And I'm like what? And he's talking about, it's called chiaroscuro-- we can put the word, put the word up on the screen here, we'll put the actual word, I'm mispronouncing it-- but how you shade a sphere.

He's going on, and he's talking about, well the sun-- see what happens, is the sun actually will hit an object right here, and when it hits an object right here, the sun's rays will come in. And then it'll have all the light here. And then it'll be like really, really dark over here.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah. No. I think we got it.

-No. He's talking. He's going, the sun's rays, they're going to hit. They're going to be-- and he's talking and I'm going, Are we done? And he's like, well, this word's chiaroscuro, and I'm just like what are you talking about? And what you want to do is you want to shade, and you want--

INTERVIEWER: What are you're talking about?

-And he's just making love to this drawing. And I'm going, if I have to sit in another graphic design class to talk to this navel-gazer, I'm going to go crazy.

-Navel-gazer, what the heck?

-That's where you go. Anyway.

-You don't want to learn from navel-gazers, because they're-- good gosh-- that is.

-So anyway. So, I pulled the professor aside. And I said-- I pulled him aside out of class respectfully and I said-- how much money do you make?

INTERVIEWER: You just asked him that?



-He's like, well, I don't really think it's much of your business. I said, well I do want to know, you're my professor. If I stay on this path, how much will I make? And he said, well, I make like $40,000 a year. And I'm like, I got to quit, like right now. I'm dropping out right now.

If you went to school for six years and acquired 100 grand of student loans to learn how to be a teacher, to teach other kids on how to make 40 grand a year, I'm out. I am done.

-So, what was your big why?

-I just realized I got to find a way. There's a book called "The $100,000 Club."

INTERVIEWER: "$100,000 Club."

-Yep. And I wanted to get to $100,000. I thought, man, that'd be awesome. Then I started adding. I would love to hire my dad. And then I said, I want to build a million dollar business. Company valued over a million dollars, before I'm 30. Before I'm 30, I want to hire my dad and build that business.

And I did both of those things. Boom! Because I got focused and intense. But you know what, everybody watching this, we can all do it. You can have huge success if you'll just dial in and figure out your why. That was my why though.

INTERVIEWER: So, how is the why supposed impact us? What's our action item, then? If you're talking with Thrivers on the other side of the screen, right now, and and he's saying, one I'm not quite sure how big my why is, or if it's big enough? What do we do, right now, with this?

-You've just got to write down a list of things that you care about deeply in the areas of faith, family, finances, fitness, and relationships. And just define what you want.

INTERVIEWER: This is the action item.

-Right now, write it down. What are your goals for your faith? What are your goals for your family? What are your goals for your finances? What are your goals for your fitness?

Relationships, that's different from your family. I'm talking about your mastermind, your network. Who do you want to get in touch with? Who do you want to become friends with? It took me years to get in touch and get to be good friends with a lot of the Thrive mentors. But, it's worth it.

INTERVIEWER: That's huge. And I want to just take a second for anybody that feels like we threw out this whole phrase, you know, attitude and the altitude of how high you can fly. It's kind of the jargon-ization.

So, I want to just backpedal a little bit and dive into that phrase, but, starting with a notable quotable. Winston Churchill says, "Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference."


-So, why does it matter? He says, it makes a big difference, that your why impacts your attitude.

CLAY CLARK: Well, the way I would look at it, and I know this is a little bit, this is like analogy upon analogy, but work with me. If you go with the analogy that your goal is to be inspired to the point where you literally are on fire. Where people go man, you--

INTERVIEWER: Literally on fire?

-People say, you have a pep in your step. I give you literally-- I'm telling you this-- you'll see people who are enthusiastic, who look literally hot. Like they look like their skin-- like I'm just telling you-- they look like they're fully engaged.

Like, you'll see a public speaker who really cares. And he will sweat. He will perfuse while speaking. I've seen graphic designers literally sweat while doing graphic design, I'm not kidding, because they're so in to it, their mind is engaged, their blood's pumping. This is what they're doing.

INTERVIEWER: That's cool.

-If you're going to get to that kind of inspiration level, you can't be wet. OK. So if you look at positivity and negativity, the negative side over here, the negative side, is kind of that-- you're kind of like, drowning in this sarcasm and drifting in no goals, in whatever.

INTERVIEWER: You're saying without the why, it impacts your actual attitude right there.

CLAY CLARK: I'm talking about, you put your why-- it literally takes-- it's almost like you've got, like we've mentioned, it's like you've got that magnifying glass. And it's almost like it intensifies everything and you start to get yourself to a point where it literally starts to heat up.

But I'm not even kidding. I've seen public speakers who sweat while speaking. They're not doing anything physically exerting. It's not because of the lights. I've seen people who are profusely sweating while playing the guitar. I've seen artists, I've seen, it's unr- I've seen business owners who are, they just get intense--

INTERVIEWER: It impacts them.

---you can see it. Yeah.

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