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-What's up, guys? Daniel McKenna here. Today you get to sit down with Clay Clark and Caleb Taylor. And we're talking about getting promoted, finding problems that you can solve for others who are willing to pay you. If you are interested in getting promoted, if you're interested in getting paid, these are some principles that are going to help you a lot. Are you ready? Let's go.
-Clay, how are you, my friend?
-I'm doing awesome. You know? I was getting up this morning, getting ready for life, you know? And I was thinking, you ever have a bad hair day? I feel like I'm having like a bad hair year.
-Wow, that's tough.
-You know what I mean? I started realizing like I'm just, I feel like people are not tuning in. I realize they're obviously tuning in for the content.
-Because of the hair, it's scaring some people away.
-Well, that's the deal. They're fighting through the bad hair to get to the good content. I just have a lot more respect for you.
-Thank you. Hopefully this can encourage you a little bit. But today we're talking about getting promoted.
-Oh, come on now.
-And I know you own nine businesses. You employ a good amount of people. How many people, I guess general, with all your businesses, would you call your employ?
-Just so we're clear, owning, and then investing, or partnering in a business are somewhat merged together. So if I own a minority slice of a company, or I own the majority of a company, that's kind of how you get to that 9. But there, in the photography business, there's probably what, 25, 30 people? And then Thrive, there's probably 50, 60 people that are working on Thrive in some capacity. And you add it all up, and it's a hundred-ish.
-So you, I mean, you've promoted people, fired people. You've done that for a while now. So I'm excited to be able to sit down with you, and show us what we need to be doing to get promoted. But personally, I feel like-- I mean, I don't have as much experience as you do-- but I feel like it's time to promote you to my Broda status. Like you've reached that status, you are now officially my Broda. You've been promoted. Hopefully, that helps with the whole hair thing.
-Well, confidence is sexy, and that makes me fell confident. So that makes me feel sexy.
-That's uncomfortable. So we're going to just keep moving forward, and act like you didn't say it. Getting promoted. OK, that's what we're talking about today. What's interesting to me, though, is that a lot of people aren't focused on getting promoted at all because they hate their job. We've talked about it in a few other episodes here, but Business Insider says 80% of people are dissatisfied with their job. 80%.
-Now if you're making a pie chart, and that'd be 8/10 of that pie chart would be unhappy.
-There wouldn't be a lot of pie left for people that were happy for their job.
-Well, if you had 10 M&M's you were eating, that would be like 8 of those just not being there.
-Now you're getting deep.
-So I just want to make sure everybody understands it.
-I've got a little notable quotable here, though. This is from Russell Simmons. And just go ahead and tell us a little bit about Russell Simmons. Why should we be listening to Russell Simmons?
-I get excited when I hear the name Russell Simmons. One, because it's got four syllables. I just thought about that.
-But also, he started Def Jam, which was the record label that Jay Z was signed to. His brother was in Run-D.M.C., and he had a lisp. He wasn't very good at speaking, but he decided to be the guy who ran the business side of it. He started the Phat Farm, one of the first hip hop clothing lines. He started the Def Comedy Jam. He just did so many big things to take hip hop music, and make it relevant. He was the guy.
So if you hate hip hop, and you're like, well, the kids today are listening to that hip hop, the hippity hoppa. Then you don't like Russell Simmons maybe. But if you're me, you're going aw yeah. So when I think of Russell, this is a self made entrepreneur who overcame some serious adversity to do some big things.
-OK. So here's what he has to say. This is a notable quotable from his book. He says, "if you're willing to work hard but don't know where to start, just look around. Go out on the block and find a store with a dirty sidewalk and start sweeping it. Don't worry about whether the owner is going to pay you or not. Just start sweeping. Don't worry if your friends come down the block and start calling you a sucker. Just keep sweeping.
Don't worry if a girl you like walks by and sees you with a broom in your hand. Just keeps sweeping and working your hardest at making sure the sidewalk always looks good. Because if you come out every morning and sweep the front of that store every day with a smile, it won't be long before the owner notices you and finds you a job inside the store. Maybe he'll put you in charge of stocking one of the aisles. And if you stock those aisles with the same dedication and hard work and the same smile, before long the boss might make you the weekend manager."
-What is he saying here? Why is this so important, and how does this apply to what we're talking about?
-There's like four things I think that were powerful in that statement. One, is he's talking about sweeping. A lot of people want to be a business owner. You want to be a manager. Well, you have to deal with a bunch of crap if you're at the top or if you're at the bottom. So as an owner, I remember it snowed here just recently. It was about six months ago, it was snowing. And who had to sweep that day? I did.
-You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. And so people at the top, you'll find them, a lot of times, doing the things that people at the bottom are doing because you have to do whatever it takes. If you're a leader, you have to do whatever it takes. You've got to have the humility to start at the bottom, and be humble enough to do that.
The second is, the smile. To smile while sweeping? Very few people whistle while they work. Very few people seem happy while they're doing something. I just think that's a decision. That a sign of maturity. Then every day. I mean, if you take the word "day," you put the word "every" in front of it. That's not very fun. Most people want to be motivated for a day. But every day? Every day? I mean, that's a lot of days. That's every day.
And then the whole thing about people calling you a sucker. People do say things to you when they see you doing things that are abnormal. And it's not normal to be successful. 80% of people cling to dysfunction. They're not having any success, and they get kind of alarmed if you begin to have some success. So there's those four ideas, sweeping, smiling, every day, and not listening to what people are thinking. That to me, he said a lot there, and I just think you need to marinate on it. Just kind of rotisserie, just let it sort of.
-Yeah. That was big. It was pretty packed.
-Yeah, just kind of marinate that. Put a nice rub on there.
-Kind of bake it in, just kind of put it on the grill.
-Let me ask you this, in all seriousness, you work with a ton of clients.
-And I know that you've seen and even worked with all their teams and everything.
-How, I guess what is it that keeps most people from applying this kind of work ethic, or at least having this mentality, in the companies that you've worked with?
-Well, as a general rule, what we want to do is, we want to become promoted before we become a pro at something. Now the pro is the front part of that word, but promoted, the idea is to be a pro. I mean you're in the top 5% of what you do. Just yesterday I was talking to a guy who I looked up to for years, I mean just megawatt, you know, hero in my mind. And he, in my mind, of orators, of speakers, is in that top 5%, you know, niche. And when he's a pro though, the speaking fee between a pro and an amateur is vastly different.
-And so when you get up there to speak and you're a pro, people stand up and cheer every time. He's an ovation guy every time. And that pro, that top 5%, to be the kind of speaker that gets a standing ovation. Or, no matter what job you're doing, if you're working as, let's say a web developer. You're working as a janitor, you're working as a manager. To be in the top 5% of all managers or all janitors, that's where the money. But we want to get promoted before we become a pro.
-And we're just frustrated, because we start saying stuff like, well I've been here for five years, I haven't even been promoted yet. If I would get promoted, then I would start doing it. And I will just tell you, the thing about this is that leadership is something you appoint yourself to. You just start doing it, and then somebody will recognize you with the title and the check.
-Leadership is something you appoint yourself to?
-Yeah, and you start acting like it, and then somebody else comes in later and starts giving you the check and the title. But you have to act like it first. You can't say, I'm going to start being a pro once I get promoted.
-OK, well here's the deal. We want to give you specific action steps, OK? Things that you can do to start getting promoted. We've got three. This is the overview of the episode.
-And I'm going to say this-- I guarantee, I guarantee, if you'll do these steps, I guarantee if you do these steps, you do these steps, you will get promoted. You say, well how long? If you do this for six months, I guarantee you get promoted. And if you don't get promoted, I call this the steak dinner guarantee.
-I will take you out for a steak dinner. Now, I will get you a big steak, I'll watch you eat the steak. I won't eat any steak, I'll just watch you eat the steak. Steak dinner guarantee.
-He'll probably say something like, in my face, in my face.
-Yeah, it'll definitely be in my face, but when you go to the bathroom, I'll order a steak and I'll eat it real fast. But my point is, I'm going to get you a steak. My steak might be bigger than what I get for you.
-Here we go. This is what we're talking about today, OK? We've got three principles. The first principle is finding problems. The second one is bring solutions. The third one is be consistent. OK? So let's go ahead and jump into these. Unpack them. Here we go, the first one: find problems. You got a notable quotable here as we start to sprint to the discussion. This is a quote here from Thomas Edison. Have you heard of, have you heard of the man?
-Yeah, well I'll tell you one thing about Thomas Edison, this is the guy who invented the video camera that we're connecting on right now. He invented video. He invented recorded audio. He also invented the light bulb, and there's like seven people watching who are going, do you know that it wasn't actually Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb? It was Tesla, and Edison stole that idea. Well, that might be true, and Steve Jobs might have stolen the mouse from Xerox, but the point is he has more patents than any other inventor in US history. Elon Musk might pass him, but he also started GE, General Electric, you know the guys who make engines and they make everything. If you go to the airport and security, that's the guys.
-Put your hands up and do this in the machine. That's a GE deal, the body scanner.
-Wow. All right, so this is what Thomas Edison has to say, OK? He says, "Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work". "Opportunity is missed by most people, because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work". What is he saying here? Why is this important?
-Well, OK. Let me give you an example. My wife and I, just yesterday, agreed to buy this--
-Oh you did it?
-Oh, yeah. In the middle of nowhere, moving out to the middle of nowhere. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Campfires every day.
-Look at that.
-I can run out there, don't visualize this, but I could run around naked while shooting off firearms and I wouldn't get in trouble. That's what I've always wanted. I've ascended to a new level. Anyway, so I've got the new--
-You've achieved your goals.
-I've achieved- that's all the goals I have. But anyway, so I'm just in like, the thing is, though, to find a house, it's a lot of work. You got to look through the foreclosures, you're looking for auctions, bank sales. Looking for houses that have been on the market for six months or longer. Pulling up all the research. Taking my sweet daughter, who's on the set today, taking her to all the different places. Looking at all the places, you know. My daughter sees a horse at one of the places, we're like, oh my gosh we need this place. This other place has kittens. Another place that has a bad foundation. I could go on and on, we're going to all these places. Meeting all these faces, we're starting to get emotionally connected to properties. We're making offers, banks are saying no.
Hundreds of hours go into it, because it's hard work. But that's where the deal is found. And we got a sweet deal, sweet. And so it's a neat deal. So, again, I'll add to the steak dinner guarantee. If you do this stuff and you don't get promoted after you've been doing this move for six months, I'll buy you a steak and-- no, that is, that is false.
-I thought that's where you were going.
-I'll get you a steak and I'll take out to my new man cave. And we'll get out there, we'll grill some stuff. And we're just going to have a good, we'll look at my silky chickens.
-I feel like you're motivating people, now, to apply these things and then do something to keep them from being promoted, so they can hang out with you now.
-So that they don't want to come out to see me.
-They want to, they're going to just sabotage this.
-Oh, well. I never thought about it that way. But yeah, my forehead is actually, when you meet me face to face, my forehead is actually bigger than it looks on camera. They do a lot of Photoshop, where they crush my skull down to make it look more limited. But it's actually bigger than advertised.
-You're talking about hard work. You're talking about how that's required and opportunities hidden in that. I know just from being around you and hearing you tell these stories that there's someone named Jason that kind of personifies this in a big way. Tell me about the story of Jason.
CLAY CLARK: Well, everybody who's watching this at some point-- right now, you might be somebody-- you might not realize this, but you might be 5% farther down the path than somebody else in your office. Think about your life right now. There's somebody. Maybe it's your kids. Maybe it's a friend or somebody that you can mentor. You might be a mentee, but you also need to mentor someone else, kind of the give back deal.
And in my life, I was being mentored by some great people and I was having a lot of success in business, but not as much success as David Robinson. I was having success, but I wasn't having as much.
Well, Jason was a guy who I was having more success than at that point in my life and he was working with me as an empl-- I saw working with me, not for me, with me. Notice the difference. But he came to work and he wanted to do more with his life.
I think he was working at a grocery store. He lived in a double-wide trailer. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want to do-- that's not judgment. He was just in a spot where financially, he was in a tough spot. He had a baby they had just had before they were married and it was just a tough spot. And he had this mentality that he wanted to grow. He wanted to grow.
Now, when he interviewed for the job, he showed up and I remember he came-- we had a big five-acre property. We had all the DJ vans. It was a beautiful place. We had the house over here and it was connected by a sky bridge. And so he walks up. I'll just kind of set the stage for you.
MAN: Oh, do we get a claymation?
-We do here.
MAN: Oh, wow.
-What happens is this is the house maybe number one right here and then there's this sky bridge that kind of connects over here to house number two. And house number two is like this. And so it's kind of this neat deal where you had the house going on. Then, you had this other building and this is where the DJs would work and then this was where the house was. And when you would pull up here, it was a beautiful property.
And he pulls up to the front. We had a big old massive front door. He gets up there and you can tell he wanted that. He wanted to be a part of that. He wanted to do that and he kind of talked countrified. And he's like, hey, I'm looking for a job and I was seeing where you-- we was looking for a job. And he talked like that a little bit, country, a thick country deal.
But anyway, a long story short, he wanted to get there. And he said, I'll do whatever it takes. I haven't graduated yet. I'll do whatever it takes to get to where I need to go. You just show me. And that guy had the mentality, I'll do whatever it takes.
That's where it starts is you have to first off just decide right now that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get there. And don't be afraid of it because it's dressed in overalls and looks like hard work. It was hard work.
-All right. So if I'm watching this right now. I'm a Thriver on the other side here. What is my action step? What do I take from this? What do I do right now?
-Commit right now that you're willing to be the hardest worker in your office. You're going to do that. You're going to be-- I would say just commit to outperforming the expectations of your job by 15%. Commit to just going extra because where you go extra, that's where you're going to start to see that extra pay, that extra result, that extra promotion.
But if you want a promotion, get off this whole deal about how much time you spend at the job, how many years you were there, how loyal you've been. No, no, get off that. Focus on where you need to get to.
MAN: And a big part of this, too-- I'm just thinking back to the quote. If you're talking about specifically Russell Simmons, he's talking about finding a problem and seeing, hey, the street's dirty. I could sweep that and then get recognized. How much does this hard work need to be directed towards specifically finding a problem? And why don't you see that happen?
-What you're going to want to do is you're going to want to go ahead right now and make a list of all of the problems that your company has. So what you're going to do is you're going to list those problems off.
So you're going to go, you know what? Our customer relationship management software isn't very good. You know what? Our website might need some work. I feel like the checklist that we use to greet customers isn't that solid. I think we can probably save money. We can spend our money more efficiently.
And so Jason came to me and said, hey, I feel like our customer relationship management software could be improved. Now, I'm saying, there's no way, bro. We're using Microsoft Paint. That's one of the cornerstones of the Windows product. We're using Microsoft Paint. And I'm talking Paint. It's a JPEG. I'm saving it. Boom.
And he's like, well, you can't search for any information. I can. I name the file with the bride's name first and then the dude. So it's Amanda and Tom. What else could I need to know? And he's like, bro, I'm just telling you it's a limiting factor. And I'm like, OK, fine. I know but I haven't wanted to deal with it because I can't do it.
So he says, I'll fix it for you and then you just pay me what you think is fair. So I said, I'll pay you 3% of gross revenue if you can fix that because I knew it would help us double the size of our business.
And I don't want to make up the number of hours, but I want to say for him, it was-- we're talking maybe 200 hours minimum to really get in there and get it done. And maybe when it was all said and done implementing, he probably was going to have to spend 1,000 hours. Now, this is on top of his job. So it's like 20 hours a week for a year and I wasn't going to pay him until he got it done.
-But you know what? He had never developed software before. Now, he went to college. If you're watching and you go to NSU, that's cool, Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, Tahlequah, that's cool. But he graduated with a degree in programming, computer programming, but he had no idea how to program a computer. What?
But anyway, so he had no idea to do it. So he was testing on me. And the reality is, when you see a problem and you want to solve it, guess what? They would have already promoted you if you knew how to do it.
MAN: Why does this--
-So you've got to go ahead and do it before you get paid. Promote yourself to the position of leadership.
-Why does this make you stand out so much?
-Because no one does this. This is something that maybe 1% of all-- not even 1%. In years working at the DJ business, everybody mentioned our CRM's terrible, boss. I know! Fix it.
MAN: So the action item, first of all, is just to identify the problems.
CLAY CLARK: Identify the problems and then-- and then--
-That's the first one.
-Identify problems that you can realistically solve. I'll say that.
-Identify problems that you can realistically solve.
-Don't point out stuff like, well, the economy in Detroit's bad, boss. Obviously, thank you.
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