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This business coaching episode is about the prerequisite to success.

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

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • "If you're not improving as fast as your competitors are improving, then you are falling behind." Thomas J. Peters
  • Notable Quotable: "Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit."- Napoleon Hill
  • Lesson Nugget: Your satisfaction with the mediocre will lead you to be poor, and most likely, unhappy.
  • "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well." Martin Luther King Jr.

how to be happy not taught at university of phoenix, business mentors

-I have found that-- Napoleon Hill, a business mentor, wrote his book "Think and Grow Rich", Napoleon Hill says that, "behind every temporary failure, there's a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit."

TIM REDMOND: I love that. Yes.

-And I always find myself, if something really bad is happening, there has to be a really great benefit. And you start asking yourself, what can you learn from this? And I want to ask you this here. So all entrepreneurs, I would say the more successful you are, the more adversity you're going to run into. People have very--

TIM REDMOND: I want you to hold that thought here. I just saw this happen with you. A couple weeks ago, we had some pretty emotional times. You went to hell and back so many times you became a certified tour guide, I believe.

-It was awesome.

-But I saw you decide what you're going to focus on. And I saw to say, you quoted the Napoleon Hill, a business mentor, quote. You live this stuff. You quoted that quote here. And I saw your eyes and I heard your volume of your voice and your energy and your voice-- not just, well, I know there's something equivalent that's going to be good-er or better-er. It's not that. It's you had faith, you really believed there's, with all this garbage hitting the fan, that there's really some good things. And you're actively looking for it. And you lit me up on the inside. It was amazing to see this in action. This happened a couple weeks ago with you.

-Well, I appreciate that. I was trying to speak to the mountains. Sometimes you have to shout at those mountains.


-And to shout at it, but I saw you not just, well, I hope there's something equivalent. You believe that there's this yin and yang here that happens with balancing thing, and there's all this negative comes in. You're looking actively for the positive in that.

-Let me ask you this here-- so to be happy, one, is whenever you see this adversity coming in, you have to deal with it. So we talked about that. Now we have to be happy. We have to pursue excellence. This is a big thing. If we pursue excellence, we're going to get paid more. And now Tim, nearly every successful entrepreneur I've ever met is obsessed about excellence, or the pursuit of excellence. Why is it so important to becoming happy to pursue excellence instead of just enough to get by? Why is so important to pursue excellence, as opposed to just enough?

-Well, I think even your own personal sense of accomplishment, the two biggest needs that humans have is the need for security, and another need is a need for significance, the need to be able to contribute. And so if you have this halfhearted fecal infested product that you're saying this is OK, there's a sense that you're living below your design. And so that's one thing. And another thing here is the market-- if you're not improving-- like my good friend Tom Peter said many years ago, read that book, one of the first business books I read in 1982, "In Search of Excellence." Tom Peters, Robert Waterman.

He said, if you're not improving faster than your competitors are improving, you're actually falling behind. And your satisfaction with the mediocre is going to make you poor. It's going to make you fall behind. You're going to be less attractive to the people that you're wanting to continue to have engaged with buying your product or service.

CLAY CLARK: Now Martin Luther King, Jr, He once famously wrote, "if a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and the earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well." I think his quotes have so many implications, but I just remember when I was working at Target, I'm there and I was working in the electronic section. And in the Bible, some of these people who believe in the Bible, it says, you're supposed to work as under the Lord.

I was probably working-- if we're supposed to work into the Lord, I might have been working as unto Satan. I was just not doing a good job. And I was just barely doing a good job. We were supposed to take all the items that someone took out an electronics and left in a random other section of the store, we're supposed to take those items into the shopping cart and bring them back to the correct areas. And I was acted like I was working. I was getting pretzels, because you get pretzels when you work there. I would try to get pretzels. I'd try to act like I was busy. I had all that. And then she pulls me aside and she was just like, hey, I don't know who you're tricking, but you can't trick me, and you can trick yourself, and you'll never get promoted with that kind of attitude. And I was like, oh, man. And I realized that I was not working hard.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: You will have to FORCE yourself to focus on the positive and to continue to pursue excellence.
  • Lesson Nugget: Committing to excellence in your current situation will open up doors to bigger opportunities.
  • "Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records." William Arthur Ward

-I started changing my mindset. I am going to work. Every single person who comes into the electronic section, I'm going to do it. Martin Luther King Jr said, "If I am a streetsweeper, I should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and the earth will pause and say, 'Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.'" I started saying-- if God's watching, he's going to clap for me, because I'm going to do such a good job if someone has a question.

And I'll never forget. A guy named Todd Starkey, that's how we got going to know each other. Todd Starkey comes in there-- and he worked for you-- and Todd says, "I'm looking for a camera for my wife."

And I said, "What kind of camera?" It was for the holidays.

"Oh, a camera she can use to record things."

And I said, "Which ones are you looking for?"

He said, "Well, this is the one I saw in the ad. I want this one."

And I said, "Well, Todd, what are your goals? What are you looking for out of the camera? How much are you looking to spend? What's your budget?" I asked him a lot of questions. I said, "Well, based upon what you told me, you should not buy this one. You should buy this one. It's a little bit less money, and it's easier for your wife to operate. It's perfect."

And he looks at me, and he's like, "What are you doing here?"

And I was like, "What do you mean?"

He's like, "What do you do? What's your thing?"

And I'm like, "I have a business I'm starting, called DJ Connection. I really am trying to grow this company. And I'm working at Target because I believe that I need to provide until I can get there."

And Todd was like "I'm head of the intern, whatever program at Tax and Accounting. We're looking for guys who have an accounting major. Where do you go to college?"

And I'd just been kicked out of ORU. And I'm like, "ORU."

He said, "You into accounting?"

I said, "Absolutely. Love accounting. It's a passion area for me." Or something like that. And I ended up getting my internship interview by, really, doing what Martin Luther King Jr was talking about. I was working at Target, just working the heck out of that electronics job. I'm just curious, because in your life, I've heard stories of how you've done this and how you've built that. Can you explain to me how, in your life, you've been able to pursue excellence and have some neat byproducts as a result of that?

-I was thinking about business here, but I'm going to go to the place of great pain in my life. With a speech impediment that I have and a handicap and people making fun of the way I spoke. It was a place of such pain that I realized that I needed to learn how to communicate to people. I wasn't going to grow any business if I didn't learn how to communicate freely.

And I remember speaking into tape recorders back then. At that time, we didn't have all the electronic digital things we have. I would speak my favorite passages, maybe parts of the Bible, speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. I'm looking at Michelangelo-- speeches by Michelangelo as he painted the Sistine Chapel.

And I remember speaking these in, and I would hear it back, and I'd go-- Come on, Tim. Come on, Tim. Get better. Close this up. Make this better. Get more energy in this. And over and over and over and over again, striving for getting onto block 1. It was a pressing in toward that excellence.

CLAY CLARK: You actually practiced on a tape recorder?

-Hours and hours and hours. I've got over 100 hours, maybe 200 hours, of practicing in there. The entire book of Proverbs. The entire book of Genesis.

-Really? You actually did this?

-Yeah. Over and over and over again. And I would get up in front of people, and my knees would be visibly shaking, I was so intimidated by this process. But I'm walking through this difficult place, saying-- I'm going to create excellence. This thing that's trying to push me down and make me into nothing, I'm going to stare back at it-- I'm standing up; I'm sorry-- and I'm going to say I'm going to press through this thing, and I'm going to move towards excellence, where before I begin to master this thing that's trying to define me and put me in a box.

I'm telling you-- that's what's happening here. These things are trying to put you into a box. It's time for you start laughing at that, but get off your blessed assurance and start leaning into this and do it 1,000 times as the warm-up-- then start to do it.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: Talent doesn't create success; a strong pursuit of excellence creates success.
  • Lesson Nugget: In order to achieve a higher level of success, you have to be willing to fail first.
  • "Failure is a prerequisite for success." Napoleon Hill
  • Lesson Nugget: In your pursuit of excellence, continually ask yourself, "Is my product/service getting WOW's consistently?"

-Another story that comes to mind would be Ryan Tedder, with One Republic. He actually went to Oral Roberts University, and he lived on EMR-- it's a dormitory-- 4 North. It was the fourth floor on the north.

-I lived on that. I lived in that apartment.

-He lived on the floor called Covenant, and I remember-- he was very talented. People would always say-- Ryan, you're so good, you're so talented. There was a lot of other people who were talented. And I would even argue there's people I met at college who might have been more talented than Ryan.

But Ryan, he would walk to class, he would walk back from class. If you woke up in the middle of the night, like college guys often do, and you're looking for something to eat, or you didn't go to sleep because you're up all night, Ryan would be there playing that guitar and singing. And then he would record himself and play it back.

I don't know anybody else who was recording five-part harmonies with themselves, all multi-tracked, so they can play back-- only to delete it and do it again. It's that pursuit of excellence that creates success. From your experience, why do so many business owners pursue just enough.

TIM REDMOND: Sometimes they're afraid of not losing more than they really want to go after winning, and so they're playing not to lose. They're saying-- I want to make a demand out of myself at a level beyond where I'm currently at, because I don't want to admit to the world that I fail.

Understand that everybody that succeeded learned to climb over these rocks of failure to get to where they go. That's how they got there. It's almost like-- well, I want to make sure I don't have my kids have to go through all that I went through.

-I hate that statement. And I'm like-- the stuff that really helped me, I'm making my kids walk through that. I'm saying to my wife-- Sandy, let them alone! Let them suffer! Let them walk through this! Let them wake up on this thing!

Sometimes we're afraid of failing so much that we're playing not to lose. And I'm saying go all in, because the world needs all of you.

-Napoleon Hill says, "Failure is a prerequisite to success." It's required.

-It's easier to say that than to live that, Clay.

-I do a lot of cold call scripting for companies. So I literally will write a script, and then I will cold call a few times and get nos so that I can script it and find out what works. It's interesting. I think cold calling's great way to learn these things.

If I'm a business owner and I'm thinking about launching a business or growing one, what are some action steps that I can take, on a daily basis, to hold myself accountable to make sure that I am pursuing excellence? Is it is it putting in a mystery shopper? Is it surveying my own business, sending out surveys to customers? Is it a mystery shopper?

-That it is a great idea.

-What are some things that you recommend I would do? Let's say I own a business. What can I do to make sure I'm pursuing excellence and not settling for mediocrity?

-Looking at your product or service. Is it creating a wow? If it's not creating a wow within people, by watching them, what can you do that causes them to take a double-take on it?

-One of the guys who mentored me, he said-- how do know when you're excellent? When people say wow, or when they cheer, or when they come back and bring friends. If they wow, and if they say wow! Or if they come back and bring a friend, like-- you need to come see this cake. This person is such a great cake designer. You should come see it. Or wow, this product is so good. You should come experience it with me. Or when they say wow, this is great.

-The wow is very important. You know how we have stars-- three stars, or five stars? How many wows does this get?

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