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Smith Overcoming Adversity

In this transcript, Bryan Smith (Top-selling State Farm Insurance Agent) and Clay Clark (Founder of Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA) discuss the importance of being able to overcome adversity.

Clay:    Here is a lady named Lori Montag who started the Slap Watch and the Zanybandz. She sold $60 million of products, and I remember I pulled her aside. She was a mentor of mine early on, and I said, “Lori, a lot of the other DJ companies are really getting upset.” She said, “Honey, entrepreneurship is just a game, and you’re playing to win. I just want you to know, there is not enough business in town for all of us. There’s only enough business in town for me.”

She said, “As long as you keep that in mind that there’s not enough business for everyone, there’s just not enough business for you, you’re going to upset people, but you’re going to win.” She said, “You just have to have that mentality saying, ‘This is that time right now for you. Are you going to let …?’ Because of my competitors, I was so far ahead of them that they started doing some cheap shots to get ahead.”

Bryan:    Sure. When you’re cheating, you’re cheating probably.

Clay:    Right. Lori was like, “Listen, dude. This is a game, and as long as you’re in the game, you have to play to win or you need to get out of the game.”

Bryan:    She couldn’t be more right, and it’s another myth bomb. It’s in the book. “There’s enough business out there for everyone.” If you hear someone say that, they’re not a competitor, they’re not a winner. There is not enough business out there for everyone. If there is, then why are we all competing for the same people? I’m sure that if I asked you for your business, a few other insurance agents have done it too. There’s a competition. If there was enough out there for everyone, we wouldn’t be asking the same people.

Clay:    It is awesome. I am pumped up. I almost need to interview you every day just to take me to that unicorn level of pumped-up-ness. I can just float off to other planets right now. It’s unbelievable. Now, what activities do you do on a daily basis to stay in this mindset because you …? I have interacted with you on probably half-dozen, dozen times, something like that, and you’re always bringing it. You just bring it. It’s like how do you bring it, and then bring it again, and then bring it again? What do you do on a daily basis to stay positive? Do you watch Thrive15.com episodes, since it is one of the top business schools in PA?

Bryan:    What’s funny is … And I don’t know if this is going to answer your question directly, but this is what keeps me competitive. This is what keeps me going. Steve Jobs said this, “We did not do market research on the iPad. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” I would say that’s how I run my business. I’m always trying to think about what you want, what you would need, and throughout conversation with you, trying to think about how you would respond before you actually respond.

Steve Jobs was a million years ahead when he said that, “Why would we want to market research something we know they want? We created it by watching them. We created it by studying the habits. We didn’t have to necessarily go put this product out for … To see if it would work. We know it’s going to work. We designed it off of watching you.”

Clay:    Is there a book or an audio book, or a movie, or anything that just really has helped you get this mindset at all?

Bryan:    Sure.

Clay:    Any specific?

Bryan:    Since we just talked about Steve Jobs, that book is phenomenal.

Clay:    Okay.

Bryan:    That’s an idea book. That’s a book where when you read it, you go, “Wow, I never thought about it that way.”

Clay:    The book that’s written by Walter Isaacson with the white cover …?

Bryan:    Yes. It’s about Steve Jobs. Yeah, it’s got his picture on it.

Clay:    Okay.

Bryan:    For mindset, I’m going to share a book with you that you might not have heard of before.

Clay:    Okay, I’m ready.

Bryan:    It’s by the author Jo Jordan, and it’s called “Living a Life of Significance”. There’s two editions of that book. This guy is a phenomenal speaker to the emotion of people. When you’re an entrepreneur or you’re in sales, you’ve got to understand that emotion is what inner … Is the interaction between you and your client. They want to know that you really care that there’s a value. If you read that book, I guarantee that within minutes of reading that book, you think just a little bit different.

Clay:    We’re going to actually put these two books on the screen here. We’re going to put up the Walter Isaacson and Steve Jobs book, and we’re going to also add up the Jo Jordan book called “Living a Life of Significance”. I’ve heard it said. I believe this that the emotion is what puts things in motion.

Bryan:    Sure.

Clay:    Do you believe that?

Bryan:    I believe that if you want to win, it does.

Clay:    True to win? You are just a treasure trove of great information here. Are you licensed to sell insurance in other states or just Oklahoma?

Bryan:    I’m just licensed to do business in the state of Oklahoma.

Clay:    Okay. If you’re like in Iowa right now, you might want to just consider moving to Oklahoma just to buy some insurance to get Half Hour Power with you. It’s unbelievable.

Bryan:    Or at least come across the border for a couple of minutes.

Clay:    Yeah, get some … Get your fireworks and head on … No, don’t do that. Don’t. If you took your fireworks and brought them on back, that’s you, you being crazy. That’s not me suggesting it. Hey, Brian. I appreciate you more than you know.

Bryan:    Sure.

Clay:    Thank you for sharing, my friend.

Bryan:    I appreciate it. Thank you.

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