How Bill Gates Used the “Third Door” to Get His First Big Deal

Show Notes

The best business coach (Clay Clark) is talking to New York Times best-selling author Alex Banayan about how Bill Gates was able to land his first big deal.

    1. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were frustrated that the technology revolution was happening without them.
    2. Bill Gates and Paul Allen decided to write a letter to the CEO of the Altair hardware to share with him that they would like to make software for the Altair.
    3. The CEO of Altair had actually received the letter the Bill Gates and he called the phone number on the top of the letterhead, but they forgot that the phone number on the top of the letterhead was for their friend’s house so when the CEO called back he thought that he had the wrong phone number.
  • NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one. And I’m still fanatical, but now I’m a little less fanatical.” – Bill Gates (The co-founder of Microsoft)


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Audio Transcription

We all know that Bill Gates is now one of the most successful people in the history of the planet. However, how did Bill Gates land his first big deal today, the New York Times bestselling author, Alex Benign shares how Bill Gates was able to use the third door to land his first massive mega deal.

grabbed the duck tape and mentally prepare yourself for yet another mind-expanding knowledge bomb from America’s number one best business coach, Clay Clark,

you, you interviewed sugar Ray Leonard, and you’ve also interviewed, I mean you, you, you got a chance to really deep dive into the best business coach success stories of the biggest and most successful people on the planet. Lady Gaga, Bill Gates. I’d love for you to share with us, share with the listeners out there how bill gates used the third door to actually go about selling his first piece of software.

No, that’s one of the funnier stories in my opinion, of how Bill Gates got his start. So it really begins his sophomore year of college. He’s in his dorm room and his best friend Paul Allen, you know, storms and swings open the door and throws a magazine on the desk and the magazine on the cover has this little blue box with lights and switches on it and it’s a little thing called the altair 8,800. And on the cover of the magazine it says introducing the world’s first microcomputer set. And Paul Allen Yells at bill and says, you know, it’s happening without us. What Paul was implying was that, you know, this computer revolution is already taking off and bill and Paul are just sitting around watching it happen. So, you know, Bill Gates reaches for the magazine, you know, he’s 19 years old. He reaches for the magazine or rips through it. He’s reading it, he’s rocking back and forth in his chair and he has a realization that, okay, the altair 8,800 is hardware, but there’s still no official software for this, you know, many computer set. So bill and Paul had this idea of what if we write a letter to the CEO of the company that makes the Altair and say, you know, we’ll make the software for you,

you know, it sounded like a fair idea, right. So you know, they want it to sound very legitimate. So they used letterhead from a company that started in high school to make them look more professional. So they write this letter to the CEO and they send it off two weeks later, three weeks later, four weeks later, no response.

What bill and Paul didn’t know is that the CEO had actually received the letter and he had actually really liked the idea. So we called the phone number on the top of the letterhead, but bill and Paul forgot that that phone number was for their friend’s house back and see how it all. So their are friends. Mom answered the phone. I was like, no, there’s no bill or Paul who lived here. Wow. So, you know, they don’t know that at the time. So they’re just sitting in there, you know, and bill’s dorm room thinking they’ve been rejected. And you know, that’s normally where most people just give up and think, maybe it’s not meant to be, but bill just said, you know, we have to try one more time. So they think, all right, well let’s just call the company and make the pitch and you know, over the phone and bill’s like, you know, Paul, you have to call. And Paul’s like, I’m not gonna call you call. And he’s like, I’m not calling. You’re getting a call. And you know, it’s a great lesson that even the man who’s destined to be the richest man on earth suffers from fear.

I think there’s a powerful idea. I know that from my personal perspective, um, uh, you know, one of my first companies that I started was called Dj And a DJ connection was the worlds are America’s largest entertainment company before I sold it. So we did entertainment deejaying is largest entertainment company for private events, for weddings, for that kind of thing. And our member, I wanted to go after Boeing Airlines and Boeing was having their 40th anniversary celebration. Obviously Boeing makes the 7:37 jets that are used by every major airline and part of it Alex, we’re just having the nerve to pick up the phone to call this person. Alice Hargrove over and over and over again, and a lot of times she told me, hey, my voicemail so full. I frankly don’t use it anymore. A mailing her over and over and over and discovering that she didn’t answer her mail. Showing up. Can you talk about how you were able to get up the courage needed to interview some of these people? I mean, which one of these people were you the most nervous about? Actually picking up the phone and calling.

I think I experienced the biggest set of nerves for bill gates just because for two years I had built it up so much in my head. You know, to me this was the holy grail interview I had, you know, Bill Gates is picture taped above my desk, above my bed, above my bathroom sink because for two years it was my life mission to try to get an interview with them. I’m this random 18 year old kid, so it wasn’t like, um, CNN and I can just like call his office and walk right in. So I think I was the most nervous for him just because it was so built up in my head. I’d put them on such a high pedestal.

How did you go about interviewing Bill Gates? What was your process? I mean, talk to us about the best business coach listeners out there are infinitely curious about the rejections that you received with the process that you went through to reach Bill Gates. What, what, what, how many kind of walk us through that process and how many rejections you received in route to actually interviewing Bill Gates.

Oh my God. The, you know, I can’t even count how many rejections it was literally rejections for two years straight and you know, the process of actually doing the interview in and of itself, you know, it’s a crazy story of how it actually came to be. But you know, even doing the interview I, once I finally got the yes, after two years it was, you know, another three month process of just preparing for it. Because what I’ve learned is that if you ask someone canned questions, you’re going to get canned answers. True. And you know, I’m sure you guys have that experience too with your interviews. So I spent months reading every biography on Bill Gates, every article, every interview, so I can make sure I wasn’t asking something that was already covered,

preparation. You brought it back to preparation, you know, uh, you know, chop, if you think about it, Thomas Edison, uh, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, I’ve heard of him, uh, he wrote that, you know, it’s one percent inspiration. Success is one percent inspiration. Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration, thrive nation. I would just encourage everybody out there to purchase a copy of our best selling book. The third door. This book is filled with interviews with, with huge people, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Steve Wasniak, Larry King, Tim Ferriss, pit bull. They’re all in this book and the interviews are, are, are in, in and of themselves worth the price of the book. But the, the, the process, the grind that, uh, he went through in order to round up these people, the grind that Alex benign went through in order to round these people up. I mean, he didn’t know these people.

He didn’t have the golden ticket. He didn’t have, he didn’t have the keys. You didn’t have the connections. He didn’t know these people. He wasn’t buddies with him. He didn’t have the money or the connections and the fact that he was able to meet these people. One, that’s pretty awesome and you can feel that in the spirit of the book. But to the things he asks, these people are truly, are our game changing? There’s so many knowledge bombs per capita in this book. I would encourage all our best business coach listeners to go out there today and they’ve purchased a copy of the New York Times bestselling book, the third door by Alex Benign. And now if any further ado, three, two, one, boom.


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