Business Coach : Pushing Past The Odds
-And it was like a curse that was put over me. It just shadowed my life throughout my childhood. Massively shy, would run out of the picture– taking picture times there– and and just, this became larger than life in my mind as a kid growing up. But it did not keep me from eventually becoming a business coach.
-So that was obviously tough, dealing with that.
-Yeah, I went through a number of operations and had just a lot of trauma with that. Kids making fun of you, the way you spoke. It was a speech impediment, and–
-I knew, as a kid– I didn’t have the physical disability– I stuttered, and so I couldn’t talk, and so it would be people–
-I would have never known that about you. That’s amazing.
-Yeah, and you would just– you talk and people would say C-C-Clayton, or they thought it was funny, but it wasn’t funny, and then then you’d go–
-Coming back to him.
– –and cry, and it would just be rough, and I know that really– I think that a lot of people watching this have something they’re dealing with. I think it’s par for the course, actually. It’s life and, unfortunately, it’s what we deal with. But not only that, you have the physical setbacks, but then you had some tough situations where– with the family, you had some tough situations, some tragedies. Maybe describe what happened. Even a business coach is not excused from hard times.
-Yeah, we had some awesome times, and this is not just in denial of the pain but the person watching here today has had some painful stuff gone through, and so I’ve had two brothers and a sister at various times, in various accidents die. I was in an accident with one of my brothers. He died, and I wasn’t expected to live.
-You had two brothers and a sister that died.
-Yeah different times.
-So 3 of the 11.
-How old were you– I guess, was that before you were 18?
-Yeah. Yeah. One was when I was 15, and one when I was 7. My sister, a year younger, was hit by a car. And when I was in this accident, I was 15, my brother was 16, and then a little bit older with another younger brother here.
-The reason why I bring that up is I know that every entrepreneur that I’ve met who is struggling to grow their business, they usually have some sort of mental setback, and they’ll say, well, it’s hard for me to speak in front of people because of this, or it’s hard for me to stay positive, because someone my family died, or it’s hard for me– and we all have that– and one of the things I cheer for and I’m most excited about with you is that you have been successful, almost like it’s been a motivating factor for you, or in spite of. A business coach will show you that you can push past the hard times and still make yourself a success story.
What I want to know is, how is your life different now, as an adult, than maybe it was as a kid? Like contrast maybe what your kids grew up with as opposed to what you grew up with.
-Well, it’s a very different lifestyle. In terms of financially, they haven’t had worries like maybe I could have as a kid. These setbacks, these painful moments really define a person, and they define them by either pushing them down as a stumbling block, or they define them as a stepping stone they step up to, and so my kids have just– they know that I’m an overcomer. They know that when we run into a challenge, it doesn’t mean I overcome it right then and there. I get knocked down. As a business coach, the troubles will come, but you decide how you respond to them.
In this accident, Clay, I had to learn to read and write all over again. Here I am, 15 years of age, having never really even made a B in school, just straight A’s, no problem. Due to the nature of this head injury, they didn’t expect me to come back all the way, and sometimes my wife wonders if I’ve come back all the way. But having to learn to read and write again, it’s like you have to just pick yourself up and just say, you know what? I’m more than what this thing is telling me that I am.
-I was talking to your son, Robert. We were talking about some goals, and it’s interesting– I feel like, growing up, my goal was to go from poor to not poor. That was like my goal–
– –and as I was talking to your son, his goals seem to be like, well, I’m not poor, so I want more, or I want to do bigger. He has a big vision for his life.
– I think you’ve got a rap going there. Not poor, we want more.
-Yeah. We’ll write that down, and we’ll come back to it, devote probably three weeks to that, and we’ll–
-So, now, do you have a mentor in your life? What mentors did you interact with, or did you have a mentor growing up?
-Yeah, I had various mentors. I was very involved in sports. That was something– I was very quiet, very introverted, very shy, except around my family table–
– –it was a yelling match.