The next article features an in-depth transcript of Clay Clark (US Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year) talking about defining what is the in the center of your focus as you're working towards success on Thrive15.com, one of the most affordable business schools in Florida.
Clay: Then, we ask ourselves a third question that no one ever does. I didn't do it until my wife hated me. Then I didn't do it still, then I waited tell she really hated me, I didn't do it. Then when she tried to kill me with a nail gun... No I'm just kidding, but it got to a point where it was pretty bad.
You ask yourself, how long does each item take? Now, here is where you're going to lie to yourself, because I know that I do. I'm like, it's only going to take an hour to get through my emails.
Clay: Only an hour. Well, let's look at my email for a second, it could took years probably, right. I get mine, I have 39 emails that are unanswered from today. I have got good amount of unanswered email. People in the family are like, hey how come your not calling us back? How come you didn't respond to email? Because I got 50 emails since noon.
I have to ask myself how long does it take to get things done. Then I have to ask myself when am I going to do it. I make the list, I commit and it's really, gosh I wish it was more complicated but it's hard to do it.
I had a referral that came in today, a guy who wants to invest like a million dollars in Thrive. I have to respond to him though with a well thought out email. It's going to take me ten minutes to do it. I don't have ten minutes in my schedule today because of things I've already committed to.
I have to ask myself when, and here we go, here we Dennis this is where it gets big, this is where it gets real. I'm going to have to ask myself yes or no. Here's the tough question I deal with every day. Maybe you watching this don't deal with this, maybe you don't, but this is the one. Do I call the guy back and get the million dollars or do I call my wife back. Do I go for lunch or do I respond to the email. Do I leave the meeting or do I...
Last night what I did, and if you're a member of the Tulsa Police Department I apologize, but they called me and said the alarm was going off here. I turned my phone off and went to bed, couldn't have cared less. This morning I woke up with all sorts of messages, don't care. My homeowners association sends me letters, reporting things that I can and can't do, I don't respond.
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I get sales calls, hey could you call me back. I don't do it. I have former employees that call and say, hey can we get together. I don't answer their phone calls either. Because I'm having to choose what I need to get done, and I'm only one guy.
Now, the things I do choose to do, would be like if there's somebody who needs help or mentorship that's a nice person, I'll try to help them. If someones in need I'll do it. The things that are going to help me get to my goal of what I do.
Even the decision to work with you, like I go ... I told Liz I said, Dennis is an awesome guy and we have like five guys that have called me in the last two days. We have one guy named Andy, we had another guy named Will, yourself and they're all super cool dudes.
They're like, hey is there way we could meet for like a half hour I'd love to help pick your brain. Because I've had some success, and I've been able to help some people I kind of got that reputation. I feel bad Andy if you're watching I'm not mad at you brother, I'm not mad at you, I swear I'll call you back when I'm driving home. I haven't called Andy back because I don't have time. Everybody thinks that their thing is most important.
Let's just go through the list real quick. Let's just kind of ... If you could just write down ten things, just for the sake of this exercise real quick. If we could just write down things that really .. I mean there's a ton of things that need to be done. Let's just see if we can write down ten things. What are ten things that are not maybe super personal, but ten things that you had to get done today.
Dennis: That I had to get done today?
Dennis: I needed to follow up with a cleaning service about being involved in a project for next week.
Clay: So a follow up on a cleaning service.
Dennis: It's a sales follow up, yeah.
Clay: Okay, what else?
Dennis: I needed to ... Needed to do, should have done, could have done. For example I've got a number of Websites that I'm phasing out doing Websites in my business because I just don't have the time. I've got this list, this perpetual list that I just hopefully hired a guy to do, but there's things like that.
Clay: Let me [inaudible 00:04:46] for you.
Dennis: Sometimes the list gets so flipping overwhelming you just don't even want to move.
Clay: Let me...
Dennis: Or you just go to the things that you know will make you money.