In this transcript, Arthur Greeno (Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner) and Clay Clark (Speaker of Choice for Maytag University and O’Reilly Auto Parts) use Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA, as a platform to discuss Arthur's experiences with overcoming adversity.
Clay Clark: Did you have any goals as a high school kid or middle school, as a middle school kid? Did you have any goals at that point like, "Hey when I get older I want to do this"? Or was it more...where were you at there?
Arthur Greeno: I was in survival mode. It was more of a what's going to happen tonight thing. How am I going to get out of going home tonight? How can I go somewhere else?
Clay Clark: I heard that you actually found a way to turn on the water when the city turned off the water or heat. Is this true or is this false?
Arthur Greeno: No, that's true. There is a way to do it.
Clay Clark: Really?
Arthur Greeno: So do you need [crosstalk 00:33] me to show you?
Clay Clark: You want to talk about this off camera? I'm just kidding. All right now after high school, let's go back to you're seventeen or eighteen years old. What were your goals at that point? Did you have any, did you start to get some goals in your senior year of high school?
Arthur Greeno: Yeah, about my junior year is when I started realizing important things for example, who you surround yourself with is going to make a big impact on your life.
Clay Clark: How did you determine this?
Arthur Greeno: Well, I hated everybody that surrounded myself with.
Clay Clark: For everybody watching this, if you used to [inaudible 01:01] to his friend between the ages of seventeen and under, we hope that you're doing well now.
Arthur Greeno: That's right. So when we moved to Tulsa it was a situation where I looked at the people I used to hang around with and they were really … they would go drinking. They would do drugs and I was like I don't want that in my life. I want something different and so I sought out those people who seemed like they have it together. Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA, helsp to aggregate those types of people.
Clay Clark: I guess what I, and I'm trying to figure out here, is that what point did you have some sort of turning point? How did you, did you just have an epiphany? Did you hit your head on the toilet seat? Did you came up with the idea? What happened?
Arthur Greeno: Here's basically what happened, is I was at a summer camp up in Wisconsin and I called home because I was really excited about telling my mom some things. She told me we're moving tomorrow. Well I knew I was still going to be at that camp for a couple weeks and I was like how is this going to work out? She said, "You're going to get on a greyhound bus." Now this is before cellphones and all those things, so I got to ride on a nineteen-hour bus, bus ride that smelled like urine and beer, from White Lake, Wisconsin [crosstalk 01:59] to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Clay Clark: That's a prerequisite to for the bus. No offense to anybody's that's ridden, rides buses. I've ridden buses, but the urine. It was the urine mixture with the cigarette smell that does it for you?
Arthur Greeno: I think it's because they make the cushions out of old cigarettes.
Clay Clark: They recycle urine and cigarettes. [crosstalk 02:14] So you're on the urine machine, driving. How's that going to work out with your mom?
Arthur Greeno: What happened was, first of all, I thought my mom would be there when I got there, but I was kind of nervous. Is mom going to be at the bus station when I get there? I don't even know if I'm going to the right city. I didn't do well in school. My parents didn't mandate that I studied. In fact my parents didn't mandate that I showered or brushed my teeth either. They were kind of in survival mode as well. I was heading to Tulsa hoping that she would be there.
During that time I spent a lot of time thinking about who I used to hang around with. Why do I keep getting in these situations? Why do I keep getting in trouble? I was thinking, “You know what? I'm going to try something new. I'm moving to a new city. I want to surround myself with those kids I used to make fun of that would get good grades. I'm going to try hanging out with them and see what happens.”
Clay Clark: So you just decide hey I'm going to change who I hang around with. I'm going to try something different because it's not working the other way.
Arthur Greeno: That's correct. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Clay Clark: I think a lot of people watching this have been doing the same thing over and over, because I know I did for a long time until I decided to make some changes. I want to ask you this here. Maybe we'll get some B-roll footage at your house. Maybe we'll get some B-roll footage of you in your incredible Mustang. If you had to just describe it with just a verbal bouquet, how is your life different today than it was back then?
Arthur Greeno: I don't think you can get any further apart, really. When it was back then, literally it was survival mode. It was how are you going to … What's tonight going to look like? How much fighting going to happen tonight? But nowadays, I walk into a very loving environment. Love my kids. As far as I know they love me. My wife loves me. She thinks I am like … I mean, what's not to love.
Clay Clark: That's true I've had a lot of women write in to Thrive, wanting to know if you're available. I just say, "Hey look he's got the ring ladies. Just look at the ring."
Arthur Greeno: That's right. I got a smoking, hot wife at home, but it's entirely different than it was before. It is what I aspired for.
Clay Clark: When you said smoking hot, does she smoke and she's hot?
Arthur Greeno: No, that's a pre-req. No smoking at my house anymore.