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Business Coach First Steps To a Successful Business

Transcript prepared for the business coach program.

Business Coach 123

All right, Thrive Nation, welcome back into the conversation with your business coach of the male persuasion. Ti’s the Thrivetime Show on your radio. It’s business school without the B.S. And yes, my name is Clay Clark your main business coach. I’m the former SBA entrepreneur of the year sent here to help you learn how to grow and start a successful business. We’re answering mail bag questions from Thrivers and business coaching clients just like you. Robert, what is the next question we have from the Thrivers out there. This a thriver here in Tulsa, I understand has a question.

Robert Redmond – Business Coach: Here in Tulsa, he came to a conference, he was inspired. He realized that he could get started on his entrepreneurial journey now and didn’t have to wait until he was tens of thousands of dollars in debt. So, and his question is, he’s starting a brand new business, okay. Brand new business, right from scratch. What is the first step? What is the first thing that I need to do in order to make that first step moving forward to building a successful business?

Clay Clark Founder of the business coach program and head business coach: I’m going to fire off all the steps, you ready?

Robert Redmond: Oh, there’s a lot of steps. we know from our business coach past. 

Clay Clark: And you can kind of jot these down so that way you can kind of interrogate me about it. I want to make sure I’m going … I do this all day every day so, it’s sort of easy, but I just want to make sure I get into I, okay?

Robert Redmond: All right.

Clay Clark: Step number one, decide on the name. Step number two, build the brand, that’s like the logo, you know the website, the business cards, that kind of thing. Step number three, agree on your … it’s called a purple cow. It’s your differentiator. What makes you different from other people. Step number four, attempt to sell one hundred somethings. Don’t form an LLC don’t talk to an attorney. Don’t talk to anyone else. Don’t get distracted. Don’t worry about what if, what if, what if. Just try to do that part first. And if you can’t do those first parts, then the other steps don’t matter. So let’s kind of unpack this one by one.

Robert Redmond: Okay, let’s do it. Clay, another question, here. Which step do you think people get caught up in the most?

Clay Clark: If you went to a lot of college, you typically won’t ever do step one because you’re going to go, “Do I need to form a LLC or an S Corp? And do I need to … how do I do my dissolution op … do I do an operating agreement or should I partner or should I get venture capital or should I … ” I’m going, “Stop doing that. Choose a name.” “But I … but don’t I do … ” “Just a name.” “I just want … ” “Choose a name!” You have to choose the name. So, I’m going to ask our entrepreneur in the room here. We have a couple of entrepreneurs in the room here today, but I want to specifically, I want to pick on Megroll. The Megroll. Megan, how are … you like that? Megroll? You like that kind of …

Megan: Not really.

Clay Clark: Okay, nice.

Robert Redmond: Not cool. I’m just sort of using that, actually.

Megan: No, you’re not.

Robert Redmond: Yeah.

Clay Clark: Really, the biggest. Here’s how I look at it, you know … I consider you to be kind of a Caucasian sensation and when I think of Asian, I think of egg rolls. And so I think of Meggroll and then all of a sudden, Megroll is born. You didn’t like that at all? You don’t like, it? Okay, I’m so sorry. I won’t do it again, okay. So, Megan, I want to ask you … when you came up with the name Bow and Arrow, where did that idea come from?

Megan: Okay, I’m going to try to make this as short as possible.

Clay Clark: Yeah.

Megan: So, I was actually in the middle of a buy out agreement with my former business partner, and she told me I could keep the name if I wanted to, but there was another location in the Tulsa area. So, I just foresaw future complications. So, I was driving around one day actually and I was just like, “Oh, my goodness. What am I going to call this place?” And so, born and raised in Oklahoma, and I kind of wanted something that incorporated Oklahoma. So, I liked the name Bow and Arrow, came up with that. I was like, “Okay, that’s cute.” But I wanted something that was a little more unique about it so, I’m the youngest of five, I have a brother who’s the oldest and my mom really wanted to name his Shane, my dad wanted to name him Bow. So, my mom won, and my mom said, “Well, we’ll have another boy and we’ll name him Beau.” So, four girls later, they didn’t have their boy for Beau. So, I don’t have any kids, it’s kind of my baby. So, I named it.

Melena Wright: Great.

Robert Redmond: It’s kind of your dad’s baby.

Megan: Yeah, it’s my dad’s grand baby.

Clay Clark: Now, check it out, I want to encourage you. If you’re listening right now, and you’re like, “I just don’t know my idea.” Well, I’ll give you two examples. A Facebook didn’t start out as a Facebook. If you get a chance to look up into their lineage, it wasn’t their first name or their second, that was their third name. A lot of companies … you know, google started out as a company called Back Rub. It started out under the name Back Rub because it was all about back links and like I don’t want to get too into it …

Robert Redmond: N massages.

Clay Clark: There you go. But then, over time, they changed it. So, just choose a name, don’t get overwhelmed, just choose a name. You might change your name later, but just choose a name. Let’s move onto the next step there.

Robert Redmond: Next step is build a brand. This is some How does someone build a brand and what’s the importance of building a brand when you haven’t even sold something yet?

Clay Clark: Well, Elon Musk is a guy that a lot of people will say, “Okay, Elon Musk, he probably knows a thing or two about business,” because he started Tesla, he started SpaceX, he started Solar City. And one of the things he talks about which I love is the importance of branding. And if you don’t have a brand that looks world class, people really aren’t going to believe in you. They’re going to start to say, they’re going to question you. And so, there’s a notable quote I want to read to you from Elon Musk where he says this, he says, “brand is just a perception. And a perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will behind, but brand is simply a collective impression, some have about a product.” You just have to look first class so people start to wonder what’s wrong with you. So, Mel, you’re starting your own business, you’re getting things going there. Talk to me. What are some of the challenges from your perspective of building a brand as you’re growing your young business. A business coach can help you. 

Melena Wright: Trying to differentiate myself from other photographers. If you go on any photographer’s website, we kind of all look the same. Like, it’s very clean and there’s some pictures of people smiling, so I mean, I’m just copying that. And I’m just doing that right now until I can figure out what to do. Differentiate myself.

Clay Clark: And the thing is you just have to start. It’s like a … being an entrepreneur its like walking through the fog and you’re looking for lampposts, you know. So, you’re just going to get to one, you choose the name and now you’re going to move forward with branding. And then you’re like, “I made it to branding.” and now, I got to go to my three legged marketing stool. And as you go into your marketing, you might discover, “Oh, my gosh, as I’m doing my research, wow. Here’s something I should go back and fix about my brand.” And then, you …. but you just got to stay connected with proactivity and action. So, Rob, let’s get into the next move here.

Robert Redmond: Next move, we kind of touched on purple cow, but a move I really want to deep dive into.

Clay Clark: Yup.

Robert Redmond: as a business coach we always tell our clients that the most important move, attempt to sell 100 somethings. If someone is low on cash, if they’re just starting out there, they don’t even have an LLC formed yet, how do they go about selling 100 somethings?

Clay Clark: I have so many examples of this, but my favorite example was when I started Epic Photography, I didn’t have any cameras and I didn’t have a portfolio. And some of you might go, “You are so shady. You are the shadiest guy.” Well, maybe. But here’s what I did. I took photos from other photographers websites and put it into a book and I went to the wedding show and I asked brides what they were looking for out of their wedding photography and they would say, “Oh, well, I’m looking for this and that.” I’m like, “okay” and I said, “now, if all the photographers charged the same price, what’s the main you’re looking for? Let me ask you this, what are the five most important things you’re looking for from a photographer?” And I’m just learning from them. I’m not selling them anything.

I’m just asking and then I said, “Now, as far as our package goes, we have a lot of different packages. What kind of budget are you trying to stick with then?” And I kept hearing the same things, brides wanted to stick within this budget about 2,000 or less. They wanted their photos within two weeks or less, they wanted photo journalistic, which is more of a casual feel as opposed to traditional portraiture. And then, after I realized it, if … Mel, pretend that you’re the bride at the wedding show, okay? So, I’m like, Mel, basically you’re saying if we could do two week turn around time, photo journalistic and it was under 2,000, you would move forward, is that right?

Melena Wright: Yes.

Clay Clark: Well, here’s what I’d like to do, I want to go ahead and schedule an engagement shoot where we could meet with you guys, take photos, and if you like it, then we’d love to do your wedding. But the engagement shoot’s free and you can have the photos regardless. I just want to … so that we can see what we’re all about. And there’s no obligation. So, what would be a good time to schedule that free engagement shoot? Does your day work … do you work during the day or night or … and I tried to book a time. Well, when we went out there and took photos, we were awful. I remember I saw Cody and he had never taken engagement photos and we had just bought a camera. And we were just wrecking people’s engagement photos. We weren’t charging them anything, but we were trying to figure out what they were willing to pay for. 

And I remember finally, we were taking some engagement photos and Cody’s in the presentation office and he goes, “Now, which one of these do you like the most?” For the first time, someone said, “We like that one.” Because typically they were like, “We don’t like any of them.” Where they would just stand there in awkward silence and like, “Ahh, we’ll have to get back with you.” He comes out of the hall because I was listening to this … I’m listening in the hallway to his appointment, and he comes out and he goes, “Dude, they actually want to buy something.” And I’m like, “Ah ha ha ha ha.” So, we finally found out what they wanted, I’m like, “Well, let’s do that again.”

And once you do it 100 times, you realize, okay, there’s a market for this. But everything else isn’t necessary. If you can’t sell, your business will fail. If you can’t sell, your business will go to hell, you know. If there’s no sales, your business, according to Marshall Moore’s fails. 

Robert Redmond: Yeah.

Clay Clark: So, here’s the deal, Thrivers, if you’re listening right now and you’re struggling to sell something, if you’re struggling to build that successful business that you’ve always dreamed about, don’t feel like an idiot. You’re not doing anything wrong, what you are is you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve got to just learn through trial and error. And the only way to learn is you’ve got to go ahead and take that first step. You’ve got to get out there and take action So, if you’re stuck, don’t stay stuck. Go to and sign up for the world’s best business school. It’s only a dollar for your first month, and book a ticket for one of our in person workshops. And at those 15 hour two day workshops, we’re going to teach you branding, sales, marketing, it goes on a Friday and a Saturday. It starts at 7:00 a.m. and it goes until 3:00 p.m. and I promise you at these workshops, you can ask questions, we’re available during the lunch hour, during the breaks. And our whole focus is to help you learn to grow a successful business.

Robert, you’ve been doing in person workshop, they’re fairly fun business coach experience. They’re not … they’re fun, they’re exciting, they’re interactive, you answer questions, you have time to go deep. It really is the best business workshop. As always, Thrivers, three, two, one, Boom!

Robert Redmond: Boom.

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