The following transcript is an excerpt that features Clay Clark (US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year) and David Robinson (NBA Hall of Famer, founded Admiral Capital Group & The Carver Academy) talking about what it means to approach every aspect of business and life with excellence on Thrive15.com, one of the best business schools in Florida.
Clay Clark: John Wooden made this quote that just blows my mind every time I read because it's so simple but it's so profound. He says, "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
David Robinson: That's a great quote.
Clay Clark: Every time that I've ever made a shortcut in my career, every time. If it's a deal where we're doing like a build out and I'm not as fastidious about the details as I want to be on something and I'm like, "Yeah" then I always have to come back later and now I don't have any time and now I'm just ... It's really a bad deal.
David Robinson: It's been an experience of mine, once or twice when a contractor might not do a great job but I guarantee you they will be twice as mad when they have to come back and re-do the job. John Wooden makes a great point and he was a brilliant man, obviously. Tremendous, tremendous success, one of my heroes in basketball. Not only did he do a phenomenal job but he was an excellent man. He's exactly right. I think we need to understand that we have an opportunity to do a great job, to be excellent. It really isn't worth doing if you're not planning on doing it that way. It will take care of itself if you do it the right way.
Clay Clark: Final question I want to ask you is, it relates to being excellent, is you have tried to be an excellent father. And I know that you're self-aware and you're also not believing that you're invincible or perfect but you've tried to be an excellent father and an excellent husband and it seems like that is a huge focus for you and your life and career. We talk about being an excellent father and as I'm learning this, by definition that would mean you're above everybody else. How do you ... What are some things you do on a daily basis in your attempt to be an excellent father or husband? Maybe just so I can learn from it if I'm watching this. What are some things that you attempt to do on a daily basis?
David Robinson: It goes back to the George Washington Carver quote, right? There is no shortcut to achievement, right? It requires daily commitment and that's what I have. I have a daily commitment and that's what's above average. A daily commitment to be there for my children, to be there for my wife. That's all I have. That doesn't mean I do things better than other people. It means that I try to be more aware that when I do things wrong, I go back and I say, "I'm sorry. I really want to do this better. How can I do it better?" I have a commitment to be better, to achieve, to grow. If my children have a problem, I think it's my problem. I'm looking at myself. I'm always evaluating and I'm saying, "How can I be a better example for them? How can I encourage them better? Me yelling at them, is this really helpful?" There are a lot of things I have to ask myself all the time. I think it helps me evolve as a person. It just helps me become a better person but over a long period of time, all of my failures even will add up to something positive. I think that's the difference between me and the average guy. The average guy, all his failures over a long period of time are just a bunch of failures over a long period of time and all my failures over a long period of time because of diligence and my commitment to the family and commitment to being there add up to, hopefully, a bunch of learned lessons and kids who see that their father's not perfect but their father really loves them and is committed to them and they can perpetuate that. They can carry that on into their lives. I think it's that commitment to the long term success.
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Clay Clark: Your brand today has power and as you're growing this private equity fund here there are people who are starting to invest in what you do and it's not because you're a perfect person but it's because you've stood for the right things for a long time. When you give someone money you're voting with your dollars.
David Robinson: Absolutely.
Clay Clark: You're saying, "I'm going to give ... I'm going to trust you. Whether I'm buying a sandwich or whether I'm investing in a real estate deal, I'm going to put money into something because I believe in the brand."
David Robinson: Absolutely.
Clay Clark: I think that is so exciting and I hope that you feel like that's rewarding.
David Robinson: It is.
Clay Clark: But it's so exciting to see the momentum of your fund pick up here. And it was exciting to read about it in Forbes and to see it in Fast Company.
David Robinson: It's very fun. I mean you can make money or lose money with anyone but it is nice to know that they're investing in you and what they believe in in you. We take that very seriously and we continually try to grow our brand. That long steady growth. It should be fun.
Clay Clark: Mr Admiral, thank you for doing things the right way for a long time.