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When I think of adversity, I think of torrents of rain. I think of dark clouds. I think of things that you don’t have any control over, and yet they’re coming at you. And you have to make a decision. What do I do? Do I just stand here, or do I move? Growing up in the Mississippi Delta as I did during the era of legal segregation, it was a time that adversity was surrounding one’s life. It was like torrents of rain that had been coming for generations. Sometimes it seems as if it would never stop. But somewhere along the way you ask yourself the question, how do I get out of this rain? What do I do? What can I do to make a difference and bring some sunshine into my life? Into every life, as the song says, some rain must fall. And rain is what people run away from to get out of, but it is also the rain that waters and nurtures those incredible ideas that live within us. I think that adversity is challenging, no question about it, but it also becomes a great teacher as well. Get ready to enter the Thrivetime Show. And we’ll show you how to get here Started from the bottom, now we’re here Started from the bottom, now we’re here We started from the bottom, now we’re on the top Teaching you the systems to give what we got Cutting dicksens on the hooks, I’ve written the books Teens bringing some wisdom and the good looks As a father of five, that’s where I’mma dive So if you see my wiping kids, please tell them hi Hit the C and Z up on your radio And now 3, 2, 1, here we go! We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, and that’s what we’ve gotta do. All right, Thrive Nation, you know, so many wonderful people who tune into the Thrive Time Show broadcast tune into the show because you wanna learn how to grow a business. You wanna learn the mindset needed to achieve success. Many of you have gone to the Thrive Time Show website over the years, and you’ve seen interviews we’ve done with Wolfgang Puck and John Maxwell and so many big names. I mean, the founder of FUBU, Damon John, and you look at these bigger names and people say to me, Clay, how did you book these people on your show? How did that happen? What was the process like? What was the progress like? How did you get to these people? Well, I’ve been doing this podcast for 10 consecutive years. And over 10 years, you end up meeting people like Robert Iyasaki or John Lee Dumas or Guy Kawasaki or Ben Carson. And we interview them on the show. And what I always like to do is I like to ask them, how did you get from here where you are now? I mean, how did you start? How’d you go from there to here? And every time I have these wonderful world-class guests on our show, their stories always blow my mind. Whether it’s Daniel Pink or other best-selling authors we have, it just really does blow my mind. And so today’s guest, in my opinion, is in that category. And I want to tell you how I met this guest or heard of this guest. There’s a show, a broadcast, that a lot of our listeners listen to called The Jim Baker Show. And a lot of our listeners listen to the show. And just through a series of connections, everybody kept saying, you got to get Mondo on your show. And I said, who is Mondo? And they go, this guy Mondo has overcome extreme adversity en route to success. I mean, one could argue this guy might actually literally be dead or in prison if God hadn’t revealed himself to him, if he hadn’t decided to turn his life around. And so I’m so excited to have him on today’s show. So no matter where you’re at today, if you’re at the bottom, if you are at the top, if you’re in the middle, if you’re kind of listing into mediocrity, this could be the show that reignites your future. So without any further ado, Mondo De La Vega, welcome to the Thrivedime Show. How are you, sir? Well, Clay, what an introduction, my man. It makes me believe in the guy you’re about to speak to. Well, okay, so tell us out there today, first off, where are you now? What do you do now? And then let’s talk about where you started from. Absolutely. I’m in Branson, Missouri. And as you can tell, I’m on the set of my national syndicated program, The Mondo Show. I also co-host the Jim Bakker Show. But I’m here in Missouri now, man, to show me state. Now what were you, what was, kind of walk us through the bottom. You know, you started from the bottom. Where was the bottom for you? When did you hit rock bottom? Where were you? Tell us about that. Listen, I hit bottom when my father walked away, and we had to do it the right way and immigrate the right way into America. And I found myself in a place called Los Angeles, California, the breeding ground for gangsters. In the 80s and 90s, there was a revolution of an explosion of gangsters in the streets of Los Angeles, California. And by the age of seven, eight years old, I found myself in the neighborhood of East LA, California, the breeding ground for gangsters. Now, you gotta understand, America was used to watching the mobsters in Chicago and New York, but they never expected an explosion of gangsters from East LA, California that literally took over America in the music scene with hip hop, with NWA exploding into the scene, movies like Boys in the Hood, American Me, Blood In and Blood Out. That was one of the breeding grounds for myself. And I found myself alone in the streets of Los Angeles, California with a single mother, my sister and myself, broken, bruised, battered, confused, not realizing what just took place because it felt like in 24 hours we went from being a family to in 24 hours life was different. The streets of Los Angeles, California began to breed killers and thieves and gangsters I found myself identifying with this people, yet I didn’t realize what just took place. Now you gotta understand, America has always been the promised land. America has always been the land of the free, yet I found myself not feeling free. The streets of Los Angeles, California has a lot of rules, Clay, and those rules led to either prison, either led to what I, you know, we call it mi vida loca, is the three dots that I talk about in my book. Either you end up in prison for the rest of your life, dead, or you end up in the hospital. And here I’m eight years old, already identifying as a gang member, Clay, not realizing what the future was holding. Now where can people go to, if they want to, you know, hear the rest of your story or engage with you, then we’re going to get back into your path here. But where can they go to to find more about you and what you’re doing right now? Listen, they can go to I think people don’t like to go to websites anymore. People like to go to social media, Instagram, of course, Facebook for the older folks, right? For the new millennials, they like IG or TikTok. But you can find me there. I have a program called the Mondo Show where I have a Instagram account. And of course my personal account, which you get to know who I am. Now let’s talk about this for a second. So you obviously found yourself at the bottom. And by the way, I’m going to pull this up on the screen so people can see that you are in fact, the host of a show. People can look you up right now, make it easier for you. I’ll put a link in the show notes folks. But again, this is the show here. Many, many people know about the Jim Bakker Show, but in a world we have billions of people and thousands of shows Maybe some people haven’t watched your program yet, so I encourage you to check out the Mondo de la Vega show It’s on the Jim Baker a show channel there. I’ll put a link on the show notes so people could find it So when did you find yourself at the bottom and when was that moment where you said okay? I got turn this thing around or how did that happen? Listen, what happened is that I think everyone that lives in the gangster world, so to speak, understands that death is always around the corner. Death was always knocking at the door. The moment I woke up and I put my foot outside the door, death was already there, meaning the threats and of course the police, but also the threats from other rival gangsters were coming after each other. So we were living in survival mode constantly. I lost hope. I lost hope in a way that most people lose hope. Yet inside, I didn’t feel like I was worth anything. Now you have to understand, Clay, the gang reminded me every single day not to make plans past 18 years old because I was not gonna live that long. And if I live to be 18 years old, you’re either going to be in prison the rest of your life or you’re going to be in a wheelchair. Therefore, I found myself living in survival mode and living in such an adrenaline that all I wanted to do is get through the day, not realizing that I lost who I was. I didn’t understand the trauma of losing my father and the trauma of not understanding what the street life was calling for really changed who I was as a human being. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I lost control. The fighting and the stealing and the gangbanging and the lowriding, I got lost and became so narcissistic just to be able to survive. Yet there was an emptiness inside of me, an emptiness that the low-rider shows were not being able to fill, the women, the money, the, the, listen, if crime didn’t pay, why would we stay long enough to see it come true, right? There’s times that crime does pay, and crime was paying off. I mean, we were making money, we were doing the cards and the respect and all that, yet there was such a void. Why? Because I couldn’t find the peace that I was searching for, Clay. Now, three things began to ignite the change in my life. And I talk about this because this is not just a book about a gangster that finds God. This is about a little boy that found himself in a turmoil of life. And it so happened to be that the gangster world embraced me, raised me, but also disposed of me, right? After you’re no good to them, you’re pretty much, you’re a living dead man by that time. But three of the most powerful words that I heard at that time began to be the catalyst that changed my life. And this is what I believe that when you have the courage to step into someone else’s world, you can change it. My sister changed my life by saying this three phrases. What if God is real? What if prayer works? And what if you have a different destiny? I didn’t believe in God anymore. I didn’t believe in the power of prayer, let alone I didn’t believe I had a different destiny, Clay. But when those three statements were made by my sister, it began to open up the realm of what if there is a God. And if there is a God, I’ve got a few things I’ve got to talk to him about. And if I have a different destiny than what my gang has been telling me about. I want to know what that destiny looked like. I didn’t want to end up in prison the rest of my life. I didn’t want to end up dead knowing that I had an opportunity to discover my destiny. And I didn’t want to live my life without purpose. And I believe that when you read this book, you’re going to rediscover the purpose and the destiny that each and every single one of us was born to live out. Now let’s talk about this for a second. So the book, I’m gonna get into the book here in just a minute, kind of do a deep dive, but what was your first job? Or how did you go from LA to gang life into, did you go work fast food? Did you wait tables? Did you go, I mean, how did you transition from that financially speaking? You know, what’s so funny is that I depended on everything that we had to do in the street life in order to monetize our lifestyle. And I knew that my background was not going to allow me to go get a nine to five job. I knew already that society had high standards that I could not meet. So what I began to do, Clay, is I began to volunteer because it was not about the money for me. It was about what to discover what I was born to do to rediscover what my destiny was, right? So I began to volunteer at this place called the Dream Center in Los Angeles, California with Pastor Matthew Barnett. And Pastor Matthew Barnett believed in me and gave me a job. He gave me a job to drive his guests around. That’s when I knew that this guy didn’t care about where I come from. He saw potential in me and he entrusted me with his high profile guests to drive them around. But yet I wasn’t making a living. Now they gave me a place to live and they fed me three times a day, but you know what? It was not about the money for me in the beginning. The first five years of my life, Clay, I volunteer at this Dream Center and I gave my life to it to find out who I was. That was enough to get me through the day. And so then from that point, working in the Dream Center, at some point you transitioned into where you’re a best-selling author, you have your own show, there’s so many great things going on. Could you share with us a little bit of those next steps from the Dream Center, where Pastor Barnett was so gracious to give you that opportunity. How did you get yourself over to Missouri and now into hosting this great show? You know, that’s a great question because serving at the Dream Center, now you have to understand, I’ve listened to a lot of your podcasts, and a lot of the leaders that you talk to are so true when they make this statement, that if you’re going to lead, you’ve got to learn to serve first. I began to serve in my community. Now, you have to understand, the community that the Dream Center was located in, it was right in the middle of one of my worst enemies that I can possibly be at. And I had a hard time navigating through the process of, how am I going to serve this church in the middle of a territory that hates me? Well, I began to serve the community. I began to serve people. I began to serve those around me. And I began even to serve my own enemies without them even realizing that I was there to change my life. When Pastor Matthew entrusted me to serve and drive his guests around, I came across a man by the name of Jim Baker. And I write about it in my book with the question mark, who is Jim Baker? It seemed like the whole world knew who Jim Baker was except me. I was still caught up in my own lifestyle that I didn’t realize who Jim Baker was, yet the whole world understood who he was. Now this is the amazing thing. You never know who God is going to pick for you to help to restore their life with. And I want to tell you something. Who would have thought that an ex-gang member would help a televangelist be restored back into society, back into what he felt he was called to do, which was television. But when I came across Jim Baker, Jim Baker was a broken man. He felt rejected. He didn’t feel good enough to even be a part of the inner circle of his comrades, which is the television industry. And I began to befriend Jim Baker in a way that I never thought I was going to do. Because listen, 26 years later, Jim and I are best friends. Jim and I became family. But at that moment when Jim Baker and I connected, Jim Baker was a rejected man from society and the church. I began to realize that a man like that deserves a second chance. Hey, guys from the streets, get shorter terms than this guy was given. And my process was, if I learned to serve, then I will begin to find what I was fulfilled to do in this world and find the gift is, and who would ever thought that a place like the Dream Center with Pastor Matthew Bartonet and a man like Jim Baker will connect me to what I’m doing today. Now you have to understand, I had the dream. A lot of people have dreams but they never do anything with them. As a little boy I had a dream to be on television. Yeah, I was so far away from that dream because I was caught up in the gangster world and back in the 80s and 90s, it’s not like today’s gangsters that they’re all over TikTok and they’re all over Instagram. Back then you were not even allowed to even be taking a picture of, let alone appear on television. Today, I’m doing what I felt I was called to do with my own show as a syndicated program through the PTL network by my connection with a man that was the founder of Christian television. Now this is something I want to, I’m taking notes over here and I’m just thinking about this. You know, Saul, in the Bible, if you read the book of Acts, you won’t like Saul very much. Saul used to feed Christians to lions. I’m not kidding. This guy, Saul, used to run around, and his job was to round up, herd up, find Christians, and to get them to renounce their faith, and if they did not, he’d put them to death. This is what Saul did. Now, God revealed himself to Saul, and revealed himself in a powerful way. Saul changed his name to Paul, and he went on to write 13 books of the Bible, and many pastors would tell me it’s 14 books of the Bible. So all I can say is the guy who wrote the majority of the New Testament was a guy that many thought was unredeemable. And so there’s somebody watching right now, and they’re looking for that redemption. They’re looking for that ability to know that they can do it. And there’s somebody out there watching right now, and you have someone in your life, and you’re going, wow, this person here in my life, I remember them when they were a young kid and now they’re off the path. I remember them when they were a young kid at my youth group and now they’re off the path. Either somebody out there, you’re watching right now and you’re either thinking about yourself or you’re thinking about somebody else. You’re thinking about somebody in your life right now who is either you or someone you know where you’re like, wow, they are off the game. They are lost and you might feel like you need a lifeline. Now ultimately, I’m going to point you to the great book. I’m going to point you to the Bible. But I’m also going to point you to a good book. I think everybody should check out a copy of your newest book here called My Crazy Life, The Moments That Brought a Gangster to Grace. I think it’s a very powerful testimony and a very powerful inspiration and maybe even a guidebook to get somebody unstuck. Can you walk us through the book? Obviously, there’s a lot of meat into it. We only have an opportunity to interview you for about 30 minutes today, but walk us through what kind of lessons can people learn in the new book, My Crazy Life, the moments that brought a gangster to grace. I’ll put a link for people who want to purchase the book in the show notes. What kind of lessons can people learn in the book there, sir? Absolutely. I think the first thing is to remind people that we are all human beings that have been traumatized by life. Second, there are moments in our lives that bring us to a grace moment. Every moment that has played a part to who we are today has made up of moments that are either moments of rejection, moments of acceptance, moment of forgiveness. This book is gonna walk you through the process of finding the courage and the ability to take authority over your own life. Understanding when you understand that the power of forgiveness unlocks the vision that God has for your life, it will change the trajectory of your future. So much is tied up to the past the trajectory of your future. So much is tied up to the past or emotions or direction or dreams or vision or passion or desires. Someone in the past has the key yet you unlock it when you have the ability to take authority and learn to forgive from your heart. This story is about reminding you that your story can ignite the vision and the dream for someone that has given up on their own life. I cannot tell you that. I have a chapter that will teach you all about why gangsters go into a gang, not because they’re tough, but because they’re broken kids, because they’re rejected kids, not because they’re killers and they’re Pablo Escobars. No, we’re young boys and young girls that were just wanting to fit in and wanting to be someone that someone can value. Yet the only door that was open at that moment was the door that the streets opened and gave us enough value that it became important to us. Yet at the end of the day, it also talks about, do you have the courage to walk into someone else’s world and challenge them by saying, what if God is real? What if prayer works? And what if you have a different destiny? Listen, every relationship that you come across may have the key to help you to get to where you need to be. Don’t despise small beginnings, the Bible says. But it also, I want to remind you, do not despise the relationships that come into your life. Listen, I didn’t realize who Jim Baker was, yet Jim Baker held the key to my destiny, to fulfill what God had called me to do. Sometimes your destiny lies on what everyone else is rejecting. Oh man, we can build on that right there. Because Everyone rejects what doesn’t look good. Yet, that may be the key to unlocking the power. Listen, I have to go through the process. In this book, I talk about the baptism of the soul. What does that mean? It’s not a Christian thing. I’m talking about everything that changed that made me be a gangster in order to be a survivor on the streets of Los Angeles, California. There’s a spiritual connotation that lies within a baptismal of the streets, yet it’s connected with your destiny. I talk about the power of learning how to trust. Clay, there’s a lot of people that have lost trust on a lot of things. People have lost the trust in their own government. People have lost the trust in their own family members. Yet we are the most disconnected generation in history probably. Yet we have to learn that everything that we want to fulfill in our lives has to deal with the inner man. I help you walk you through the process of learning how to forgive from your heart. I share about my father and learning to forgive my father. I also share about how my father was murdered in front of his doorstep, and yet, here I was hoping to build a future with them. Listen, I didn’t believe in marriage, Clay. I didn’t believe in having kids. Remember, the streets told me, do not make plans past 18 years old. Therefore, when all my homeboys and all my homegirls were having babies and leaving them on the streets, I protected myself because I didn’t know if I was gonna stay alive to even be a father. Yet, today, I’m a husband, a father of twins, and guess what happened? Happens to be the daughter of one of the daughters of the Lennon sisters, the famous Lennon sisters from the World Show. You know, in my book, I share a story of how I knew about the Lennon sisters. I never met the Lennon sisters. This is about a book about dreams. Don’t give up on your dream. This is about don’t give up on what God has called you to do because the most unexpected place will be the place of a reminder that God is with you. Here I am on a jail cell and they’re beating us to death and the radio comes on and Dick Clark comes on, all of a sudden he says, I’m going to play music from the Lennon Sister Hour. I never knew who the Lennon Sister was, but I thought about, man, I wonder what that living room is like with the Lennon Sisters. They’re singing the songs, and they’re sharing family stories, yet I felt rejected. I didn’t have a family anymore. I didn’t have anybody that I could call home. My mother was working four jobs a day. My sister was doing her own thing. Our family unit did not exist. Yet, years later, the same people that I was listening to in that jail cell are now in my own living room, singing the same songs, singing the same, telling the same stories. Bro, that’s a God thing. Now I want to bring this up for everybody out there because I want to give people just a little encouragement, and I do not do this for authors often, so I want to give people a very clear offer here. If you will go right now, if everybody just go on your computer right now, go to Amazon.com or wherever you prefer to buy your books. What we’re going to do is we’re going to pull up a copy of the book here. So I’m going to go to, I’m doing it right now. This is the steps we’re all going to do here. Here we go, folks. I’m going to Amazon.com. Once I go to Amazon.com, I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to search for the book title, My Crazy Life, The Moments That Brought a Gangster to Grace. Then if you buy the book, what you’re going to do is you’re going to get out your phone, take a screenshot of the purchase, okay? And if you’ll text me on my cell phone, folks, my cell phone number, I’m going to give you that phone number. If you’ll text me on your phone number that you’ve done this, so my cell phone number, I’ll type it here on the, I’ll type it up here in the notes here. It’s 918-851-0102. So folks, if you’ll text me proof of purchase, so again, you go here, what do you do? Step one, you buy the book, My Crazy Life, The Moments That Brought a Gangster to Grace, and you text me proof that you actually did it to my cell phone number, which is 918-851-0102. 918-851-0102. I’m gonna give you a 100% free ticket, no cost, no surcharge, 100% free ticket to my in-person business workshops. The business workshops, I’ve been doing them every two months since 2005. Our next one is March 7th and 8th. These events, they build millionaires. These events are normally events where we charge $250 for a ticket. It’s at my home office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s the highest rated small business workshop in the world, and you can absolutely attend this event. It’s a next level presentation, two days of actual training on how to grow an actual business, 100% free. There’s zero, and you say, why would you do that? Well, I grew up poor. I know what that’s like. I didn’t grow up in the gangster life, and this guest today we have here, Mr. Mondo, is the first guest that I’ve ever interviewed that has come from that life and has bared his soul in what I would call kind of a glass heart moment. I mean, he’s putting his entire heart out there, his life for all of us to judge, for all of us to see, for he wants to be transparent. And I know there’s somebody out there that you need, not a hand out, but you need a hand up. Or maybe you’re somebody you can afford a ticket, but maybe you just need to feel like you won something. I don’t know, but I encourage you right now, buy a copy of the book, My Crazy Life, the moments that brought a gangster to grace. And I want you to go ahead and just text the number. You just text my number, 918-851-0102. And I’m gonna get you a 100% free ticket. Now, our events are, they’re interactive and we cap attendance at around 100 people. So you’re gonna be able to have your questions answered. You have a workbook. There’s 15 hours of training. It’s at my office in Tulsa. I promise folks, it’ll be a life-changing event for you. And if you click on testimonials, you can see over 2,000 documented success stories. Not people that just learned something, but people who actually applied it and have gone on to grow super successful companies. So again, repeat, buy the book, My Crazy Life, The Moments That Brought a Gangster to Grace. Then text me, proof of purchase, to my phone number, 918-851-0102, 918-851-0102. Text PROOF OF PURCHASE and you’ll get an absolutely free conference ticket for our next in-person Thrive Time Show.com workshop. Sir, I’m going to give you the final word out there. I really do believe in what you’re doing. I know your heart. I’ll give you the final word. What would you say to everybody out there who’s taking notes, who maybe just needs a final word of encouragement? Absolutely. My word to you is don’t give up on God, don’t give up on your family. We all have success within us. We all have a reach and yet all you have to do is take the first step to do it. Sometimes you have to say, excuse me, I got to go get my life right. Excuse me, I have to go start my own business. Sometimes in life you have to excuse yourself from the moment that you’re in right now in order to know what your future is going to look like. I don’t know what it looks like for you, but I knew what it would look like for me if I didn’t leave the gang at that moment. I risked everything. I risked my life, my reputation. I left my cars. I left my money. I left homes. I left everything to follow what I felt God was calling me to do. And the one thing I gained was peace of mind, and I understood that if I can make it, you can make it. Mondo, thank you so much brother for carving out time for us, thank you for writing the book and we’ll talk to you soon. Thank you sir. Take care. All right Thrive Nation, sometimes you find yourself at a place and space where your business is stuck or maybe you have a dream to achieve massive success in a certain area of your life. And what you need is a coach. You need a mentor or a coach or somebody to show you the proven path and someone to guide you down that proven path. And years ago, I met a man by the name of Clay Stairs, who had been very successful as the head of a church camp. He ran a very successful church camp. Many of you might know the name. It’s called Shepherd’s Fold. He had done it successfully for years. He had led the ministry. And he was thinking to himself, you know, I might want to start my own business and teach other people how to become more effective leaders, how to grow their company, and he just didn’t know how to start. And so I believe that conversation happened over a decade ago, and he’s here today to share that story. Clay Starrs, welcome to The Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? Clay, I’m actually reading back in some of my old journals, and it actually happened in 2011, was our first conversation with that fundraiser that we did together. So 13 years ago, you and I connected, and I remember you were at my office, and I had such a great chemistry with you. We were helping you raise money with our call center. Our call center was teaming up with you, and we were teaching your call reps how to make calls. And I remember looking at you and I said, Flake, you have the gear, the drive, the energy, the tenacity, whatever, the capacity to become self-employed and if you ever want to do that, call me. And from that point forward, you’ve now built a very successful company called the Leadership Initiative, where you and Sean and the team, you guys work with hundreds of, you’ve worked with hundreds of business owners all across America, even billion dollar businesses. I mean, you’ve worked with some great companies. Can you tell everybody out there, what was that initial process like from you and I talking on the sidewalk about you having the capacity and tenacity needed to become self-employed to building what is now claystairs.com and the leadership initiative? Yeah, Clay, I think it all began with this feeling that I think many people have of being in a spot where it’s not that we were unhappy and life was terrible. Life was pretty good, but I knew that there was more to me than I had tapped into. And I wanted to tap into that more, but I knew that the position that I was in at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch was not going to be able to get me to that place where I wanted to go. As I began to feel that and think that and start looking around at what are my options, that’s when I met you. When you brought up the idea of starting your own thing, Clay, I never saw myself being a business owner growing up. I always thought that I would run a ministry, but I never really thought that I would be a business owner. So the movement, the path that you have brought me along over this past 13 years has been amazing in changing my life, changing my children’s lives. I would even go so far as changing my children’s children’s life. But I think there’s so many times where people are in a spot where they know there is more to them than they’ve tapped into. They just don’t know the steps. They don’t know, how do I tap into that? How do I do that? If I just had a path, and I think that that’s been something looking back over the last 30 years in my life, that’s been something that the Lord has worked into my life over and over and over and over again, is providing a path for people to get from where they are to where they want to go. Now, I’m going to walk people through kind of the linear path, and I’m not trying to rush you, but I want to make sure that we end on time, start on time, end on time, because we’ve got a lot going on today. I know you’re very busy now. You’re now an elected official. Can you tell people what’s your title these days? Because you run a business, but you’re also an elected official. What’s your title, sir? Yeah, our whole idea at the Leadership Initiative is to help you, as a business owner, grow a business that actually is a vehicle that helps you get to your bigger goals, and time freedom and money freedom. So we found, what was it, about three years ago, Clay, we had reached a point in the company where I was not having to come into the office every day and had time freedom. And you and I were having a lot of conversations coming through the whole COVID mess. And I remember one day it was you that said, “‘Clay, I think you need to run for office. And immediately there was a click and I said, Clay, I will run and I will win. And so in 2022, I ran for the House of Representatives in District 66 here in Oklahoma and we won that campaign. And so now I’ve just finished last year, I’ve just finished my first session as a representative over in the Oklahoma Capitol. And again that website is ok4clay.com, ok4clay.com. Now what I want to do is I want to get into this idea of called shalom for a second. Someone says what is shalom? Again if you look at the word shalom and you look up the Hebrew meaning, what this means is it’s a relationship that is complete, it’s perfect, you might call it symbiotic, you might call it a win-win, you might call it like photosynthesis, like the trees need the water, they need the air. Theoretically, if trees are growing, then the water and air benefit from it. It’s just it’s a win-win relationship. And that’s what I look for with clients because most of my clients I work with, I’ve worked with them for six years or longer. I don’t want to work with someone for a month or to give someone a quick checkup from the neck up. I want people to know about the absolute agony and maybe just psychological nudity that you went through when we first started working together. And so we’re going to go to claystairs.com. Let me pull it up real quick, claystairs.com. The first thing we did is we had to take your reputation, which existed with your family and friends, and turn it into what’s called an online reputation. So here you had, for 40 plus years on the planet, 47 years I believe, you had been building a relationship with people treating people right literally mentoring thousands of kids, but there was no Online documented evidence of that and so I said to you I said clay stairs I need you to cold call as many organizations as possible I’m saying this to a 47 year old man with a lot of success I said you need to call big organizations and offer to speak for free in Exchange for a video review or a Google review so you’re out there speaking at some of the biggest organizations, 100% for free, to build an online reputation. Could you explain the psychological nudity, or maybe you’ll describe it differently, of what you went through when I told you you have to make 100 cold calls a day to volunteer to speak for free in exchange for a documented video review? Yeah, nudity is probably not a bad idea. Just emotionally nude because of the vulnerability. Clay, I had never been in the sales world before. I’d been a teacher and coach, a high school teacher and coach for 15 years, and then moved into working and running the ministry at Shepherds Full Ranch. I had never done sales. I was always really good with people, could always teach, train, mentor, and lead, but I never knew how to do that sale. So when you right off the bat started saying, hey Clay, it’s time for you to get up and start making phone calls, that was a world I had, not only did I not know anything about, but I had an emotional aversion to it from the very beginning. And Clay, I remembered early on, one of those first meetings you and I, you just went over to a computer and started putting together an idea of what the website would look like. Do you remember doing that? I do. You were just going a mile a minute on the computer, designing this, designing that. It was at that point that I began to really buy into this idea of the path. I just need to walk down this path. Now, if you go here to Thrivetimeshow.com forward slash millionaire folks. You can download this book for free. It’s called the Millionaire’s Guide to Becoming Sustainably Rich. But we had to guide you down this path. So this is what the visual path looks like. We had to figure out your revenue goals. And I remember that because that first year you were paying me a monthly fee. Just to be very, very clear folks, I charge clients a flat rate of $1,700 a month and we make a 20% profit margin. That’s how we do it. It will scholarship certain people, but Clay Stairs was a full freight paying client. And my goal is to bring in more revenue than what you’re paying me. But I told you, you will not bring in any revenue until we have an online reputation. So that first box, determining your revenue goals, that was painful. Box two, determining the break-even numbers, that was very, very painful. Box three, defining how many hours you were willing to work, that was painful, because you’re like, I’m willing to work every hour to make this work you were doing that box for determine your unique value proposition that was a little fun because we got a chance to do the logo and the website and the print piece and the videography and photography and the pain was able to stop for a moment the branding that was kind of fun the video reviews and documenting those and organizing those the three-legged marketing stool that was fun to build it’s the theory of it now we get into execution and this is where I want to really focus before we wrap up today’s interview. You then started having people reach out to you who you had saw you speak and they said I would love for you to help me grow my organization and that was very exciting. Also the cold calls that you were making they started to produce fruit and clients started to say yeah I’ll be willing to take you up on your offer. I would like to try out your service for a month or two. And you took those initial seeds, you watered them, you were diligent, you were kind, you were caring, you grew those businesses. And now you have a flourishing coaching or business growth company. Can you talk about those seeing those first, like seeing the little plant life come out from the soil, those early leads going, Clay, I remember you told me, Clay, people for my speaking event want to hire me. Clay, the people I’ve been cold calling on the nights and weekends, they’re calling me back. Could you explain what that feeling was like? Yeah, it actually, Clay, it actually began to work. Go figure. Yeah, I think that when I was speaking to people, whether it would be in front of a group of 50 or 5,000 people, or whether it was just one-on-one, I think that I was able to communicate to people that I am like you. I have actually had to walk through the transition, not only the physical transition, but also the mental and emotional transition to become a successful businessman. I think, Clay, there’s been over and over and over people that have come to me and said, Clay, you get it, you get me, you understand what I’m talking about. I feel like you’re relatable, I can follow you. And so when that began to happen, I remember one of my first clients that said yes. It was like, I didn’t know what to do. It’s like, you remember the first speaking event that I got down in San Antonio? They said, hey, we want you to come. How much do you charge? And I was just completely taken aback. I was like, will you pay for my hotel? I mean, that’s what they paid my hotel. And that was it. And just so you know, for anybody out there that wants to know my wins, I want my clients to bring in more revenue than they’re paying me. That’s my entire goal. I don’t want anybody to be paying me more than the fruit they’re seeing. Right. Right. And that’s why I tend to not want to work with startups unless they’re very diligent people like yourself. Now fast forward 13 years down the road, you’re now an elected official, claystairs.com is booming and if I had to describe what you do for clients, basically if you have a computer, a computer is the hardware and then you have the software. The software is kind of like the operating system. And in our relationship, you know, my team does a lot of the back-end support, photography, videography, web development. So basically, you do exactly what we do, and then we supply the back-end support. And so you’re almost like the hardware, and we’re the software, or vice versa. Could you, for anybody out there that wants to know, how can you help businesses grow? Like, give us kind of the 60-second, what can you do, what do you do at claystairs.com to help businesses grow? I think the primary thing once again is if you know where you want to go, I am very confident with the leadership initiative that we can help you get there. We have the path to help you. It’s not like getting on the phone once a week and going, what do you want to do? There is literally a proven path to get there. Now, Clay, I do have some people when I talk to them about steps one and two, what are your goals? They don’t know where they want to go. They don’t know what they want to do. And that can be a very difficult place to begin. But if you know where you want to go with your company, we can help you at the Leadership Initiative. We’ve done it hundreds of times with many, many other clients and had great success with many, many other clients. It’s just having the path. What is the next step that we do? And then Clay also, I think something is very unique with the leadership initiative, is we bring that unique connection, that unique, we’ve been there, I’ve been on this path for 13 years, each step was incredibly painful. I understand the pain that you’re going through, I understand the freak out that you’re going through, and there’s that connection along the way. It’s not just a bodiless head that’s floating around on the screen while we’re talking, but we actually understand we can walk together on it. So that’s a unique thing with the leadership initiative, as opposed to just, give me the stuff, you know. And I’ll say this, too, and I’ll let you have the final word on this. People always ask me, Clay, why do you grow businesses? Why do you help people? Well, I built my first company, which I no longer have any ownership of. I sold it well over 15 years ago, DJConnection.com. But I had built a very successful company, then I started a company called EpicPhotos.com. It was very successful, not necessarily in this order. I also started the Tulsa Wedding Show. I had built multiple companies. I grew Party Perfect. I had gotten involved in the dentistry, had grown that, and people kept asking me, could you help me grow my business? And I was, I’m trying to clarify this idea in my own mind, so I was kind of journaling, and I discovered at that point, I hate poverty more than I like success. Like I hate poverty. I grew up poor, I know what it’s like to be poor, and I hate poverty. I feel an intense, passionate, dislike, intense, passionate, dislike, almost like a feeling of revenge or a hatred for poverty. I hate mediocrity. I hate poverty. And when I team up with a great client like yourself, I want you to be successful. So I would like for you to describe in the final 30 seconds here, sir, what has it been like being stuck with me for 13 consecutive years, stuck with a man who hates poverty? Clay, we’ve had quite a path, quite a bit of evolution along the way, not only evolution in our relationship, but just evolution in my company as things have changed. And new goals have come up, new direction, new services have developed. But, Clay, you have been tremendous to work with. In our relationship, I was getting comfortable and not doing as many of the action items that I needed to do, if you remember this. And I remember coming to you one day in our weekly meeting on CLEC. I need you to transition from being a coach to being an asshole. I need an asshole in my life. I need somebody who’s gonna drive me and get onto me when I don’t get things done. Because Clayton, being a high school and college athlete, I responded to that. I responded positively to that. Not everyone does. For about a two, three month period, you became that person for me, which was exactly what I needed in that season of my business. That’s what I think has been so tremendous about our relationship and about your coaching with me is that whatever I’ve needed in that season, you have been able to provide that. And there’s just so many business owners out there that don’t have that person. They have themselves. And, or unfortunately, they may have a spouse that tries to be that driver, that encourager for them. And that can be really hard. So people like you and I, business coaches doing what we do, we bring along that word in season, that step in season that you need to take. And it’s incredibly fulfilling for me to, like you were saying, to be with clients that do their action items, that work through the struggle and get on the other side and experience the freedom. It’s so incredibly fulfilling. I’ll say this too, final thoughts here. We do conferences, I’ve been doing conferences, you know, every two months since 2005. Think about that, folks. I’ve been doing conferences literally for 19 consecutive years. I used to do them in Vegas, do them in Florida, do whatever. And so we host these in-person Thrive Time Show workshops every two months. They’re interactive. And so many people reach out to me and ask to speak. And I say, no. Sometimes I’ll say no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Or no, or hard pass. But one of the few people that I allow to speak at our events is you. And you do a great job co-hosting those events. And so if anybody wants to meet you, connect with you, they can learn more about you at our in-person workshops. Also, if they’re looking for a coach or a mentor, you actually do onsite leadership training. Again, that website is claystairs.com, claystairs.com. You’ve also written multiple books that are phenomenal. You can find those at Claystairs.com. Claystairs, I really do appreciate you. You’re a great friend. It’s wonderful to work with you. Have a great day, sir. Thanks a lot, Clay, appreciate you. Bye. All right, Thrive Nation, on today’s show, what we’re gonna focus on is how to grow a successful company. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna pull up a graphic that is the theory of how to grow a successful company, but vision without execution is hallucination. And so if you go to thrivetimeshow.com forward slash millionaire, you can download a book that I have written called A Millionaire’s Guide How to Become Sustainably Rich. You can download it for free at thrivetimeshow.com forward slash millionaire. But you have to actually implement that which is in the book. And so on today’s show, we’re joined by a very successful person in the home building business, a great friend of mine, a man by the name of Aaron Antus. Aaron Antus, welcome on to The Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? I’m doing great, Clay. Thanks for having me on. Hey, so I got to ask you this for people out there that want to prove you’re not a hologram. First off, what’s the website for your company so people can verify that you are, in fact, a real business? You bet. It’s shahomes.com. S-H-A-W-H-O-M-E-S.com. shahomes.com. I’m pulling up shahomes.com. That’s the website, shahomes.com. And when you and I met, before we met, you had been already very successful as a home builder. You turned your dream of being a home builder guy into reality. How many homes had you sold or what kind of sales had you done in your career as a home builder guy before you and I even met? Before we met, probably about $750 million in sales prior to meeting you. Then, you did, the year we first started working together. What were the sales totals that year? We were at like 19 million. 19 million. And then when you ended 2022, obviously we’re in 2023 and so we’ll see how this year ends, but as far as ending 2022, how much sales did you do last year at the end of 2022? 2022, we were at like 84 million. Okay, so from 19 million to… 84 million. 84 million. So you’re doing some things right here. And we’re going to try to do is kind of demystify the plan here. Okay, so here we go. So establishing revenue goals. Yep. When you and I first started working together, we started off with a 13 point assessment. We went over your goals. I’m not going to ask you to share your goals on the air, but why is it important that you have goals? Well, I mean, goals are sort of your guideposts that, you know, you set something out there in front of you and you start chasing after it. And without that, you’re just kind of floundering in mediocrity. You don’t have any reason to get up in the morning and really get after it. And so, you know, I think goals are, you know, it’s, you can have lots of different types of goals. And we’ve talked about a lot of this. We’ve talked about, you know, having financial goals and having, you know, fitness goals and having friendship goals and just all these different areas. I know you’ve got the F6, you know. So that’s kind of something that, you know, we touched on very early on. You asked me like, is the goal, is one of your goals more income or is it more time? And so I said, well, really at this point it’s more income. And then later it became more time. So, you know, it’s changed over the time I’ve known you since 2016. We’re going on seven years and the income went up considerably. So now it’s turned in the last couple of years towards more time. Now the break-even numbers, again I’m not asking you for the numbers on the show, but you guys have a lot of fixed costs. I mean, if you go to shawholmes.com, you’ve got framers, you have plumbers, you have tile people, you have so many skilled people, you have a full-time sales team, you have an admin staff, and if you don’t sell a house, you still have the service of the land, you still have all the overhead. Why is it important for every listener out there to know their break-even point? How many deals they need per month just to break even? Well, yeah, because you’re going backwards real quick, and it doesn’t take very long if you’re at the beginning of your business. It doesn’t take very long for you to be in a place where the creditors are knocking at your door and you can’t pay your bills and all of a sudden you’re going to lose all your – for us, all of our trades, all of our suppliers are going to start backing out. So you’ve got to know what that number is that lets you tread water so that – okay, this is the worst case scenario. Everything above that, at least I’m into the profit zone. So you go out of business pretty quick. Most businesses don’t last more than just a few months if they get below that break-even number. Now, folks, again, these might seem like simple steps, but they’re all the linear steps you have to take to create time, freedom, and financial freedom. If you want to grow your company, this is how you do it. Box number three, though, is you have to know the hours you’re willing to work. Now, your incredible wife is here off camera. It’s for accountability. So, at any point, you know, she could yell like, hey Matt or boo. But you guys are on the same page with the hours you’re willing to work and you guys, as a couple I want to brag on both of you, you guys both committed to sacrificing time and energy and a lot of things to get to where you’re at in life. And then as you had your children, you raised them, you decided to devote time to raising said kids. And now that your kids are older, you’re devoting time to raising these kids. So it’s not like you advocated being a parent while also growing a company. You did both well. I’d love to get your thoughts on sitting down with your spouse, if you’re watching this today, or your significant other, and making sure you’re on the same page about how many hours per week you’re willing to work. Well, yeah, I mean, you don’t wanna grow a business to make a whole bunch of money just so you can split it in half later. Oh. Because that’s kind of what happens when you don’t work out those details ahead of time. And so my wife and I have been married 25 years. We’ve been together for four before that. And so yeah, sorry, 26. Did I just say 25? 26. Real quick, I hate to do this to you. I just got in trouble. I hate to do this. Your wife just turned 27 on Thursday, and what you said is 100% false. Okay, so the unique value proposition here, now let’s talk about this. Whether it’s growing a home building company or a dog training business or a haircut chain or a carpet cleaning franchise or whatever business we’re involved in helping to grow, you have to sit down as a listener out there, as a business owner, and you’ve got to figure out what makes your company unique. Absolutely. So I want to ask you, what makes Shaw Homes unique in the marketplace with other home builders? Yeah, we have more furnished and decorated model homes than any other builder in the market. So, you know, a lot of times people, when they walk into a home and they’re trying to decide if they like the floor plan, the layout, whatever, they usually most builders in our market have an empty house that they walk into. It’s just kind of echoes when you walk through it, there’s no furniture or anything. And we completely, as you can see in this little video here, we completely furnish and decorate it, make it beautiful. We are the most award-winning builder in the state of Oklahoma. That’s true. We’ve won like five times as many awards as any other builder in the market. So definitely that is one of our big takeaways. Now I’m gonna throw you under the bus real quick, and I don’t mean to do this super passively aggressively, it’ll just be more of a subtle passive aggressive. When I met you, you guys had all these awards, but no one knew. That’s true. It was like this weird, bizarre thing where you had all these awards. I remember talking to you and I’m like, what makes you guys different? And you’re like, you know, we do a good job and you’re going to be nice about it. You’re a good salesperson. But I said, well, I mean, tell me about the awards. And you’re like, well, we got this award, that award. This is this award like 45 minutes later. It’s like that award, this award. I need to shave now. This award, that award. I need to go brush my teeth. This award, that award. I want to go mow the lawn now. This award that I’m retiring. This award that my kids are turning 18 I can see it this or we just going and this award and that award and so we put those on the website and that helped and the other thing you guys were we needed to change was all these people were saying great things but we didn’t have video reviews of them saying it on camera right so it was like your online reputation didn’t match your real-world reputation so much good momentum there and so many people love you guys and now you guys have, would you say 100 video reviews? Oh gosh, I would say more than that. We’ve got, yeah, we have a lot. And everyone can keep giving. You can just keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I will scroll. And this is actually all that’s on this page. If you go to our YouTube channel, we have way more than this. So again, and this is all the stuff. You’re going to grow a successful company, folks. Step one, you got to figure out your revenue goals. Step two, you got to figure out your break-even goals. Step three, sit down for an hour in a power. Sit down with your spouse. Make sure that you guys are on the same page of your hours you’re willing to work. Step four, unique value proposition. Figure out what it is that makes you unique. And we have an in-depth guide that you can download for free at thrivetimeshow.com forward slash millionaire if you get stuck. Next box, you’ve got to improve your branding, your website, your one sheet, in your case, model home presentations, business cards, social media branding, everything that a customer sees needs to be first class. And I was talking to a guy named Ronnie Morales today, and it’s Morales Brothers. I think you met him at a conference. He told me, and I’m not slamming Ronnie. Ronnie, if you’re listening, I’m not slamming you. This is the real thing. Ronnie said he’d listened to our show for seven consecutive years before ever reaching out. And now he’s reached out and he’s up 57% in about eight months. That’s awesome. And we’re going to put his story on part two of today’s show because he’s in Texas and he’s seven years behind you, but he’s doing a great job. What do you think that thing is where people have bad branding and we’re not aware of it? Is it someone hasn’t brought it to our attention? What causes bad branding? You know, the number one thing I hear business owners say is, well, you know, I don’t really need good branding because I sell everything by word of mouth. Oh, yeah, baby. I’ve got such an incredible reputation. You do. Everybody just comes to me by word of mouth. Yeah. And then it’s like, okay, yeah, but how much business did you do last year? Well, not very much and you know, I’m really unprofitable, but I’ve got great, you know, reputation out there and I get a lot of word of mouth. So when people switch over to starting to improve branding, I know you helped us a lot with that in just creating a lot better looking website, creating a, you know, we’ve got an office environment now that is when people walk into our model home, they are blown away. We truly wow our customers when they come to our model homes. It’s a one of a kind experience in the state of Oklahoma. And the process of that, you know, just going through, branding it so that it looks really top-notch and, you know, that includes everything from, you know, marketing to all of your senses and everything else. So it just really brought us to another level. And when the customer comes in and experiences us after having walked through other builders’ homes, they usually come in and go, you guys are just on a whole nother level. It’s sights, sounds, smells, experiences, everything that your customer sees, they’re grading you on. And you might not know that they are even judging you because they’re not filling out the form. And I have a funny story to share with you that’s kind of sad. I was working with a fitness guy years ago, and I’m not gonna tell you what studies and what city folks, I know you wanna know, but I’m not gonna tell you. And he filled out the form because his wife wanted him to schedule a 13-point assessment. He did not want to. And he tells me, Clay, honestly, I’m just doing the call because my wife wants me on the phone. I got to, I don’t really don’t get leads from social media. I don’t get leads from marketing. I get all my leads word of mouth, like you were saying. And I said, well, let me just do this. Let’s just, this first month working together, let me get all the passwords for your Facebook, your Google, your YouTube. But I’m just, as the first month, we do this with every single client. We optimize your YouTube, your Facebook, your Instagram, your Twitter, all that. We log on, this is a fitness guy, he was spending like 400 bucks a week every week on ads, and he hadn’t known, he wasn’t aware, that every time a lead came in, it got stuck in Facebook and went to an email address that he wasn’t checking. So think about this, and it’s like 15 to 20 leads a week for years this guy had. That’s not good. And he didn’t even, so I’m going, you’re spending, you know, 20 grand a year on ads that you’re not getting anything from. And are you aware that the phone number on your site rings to a phone that’s no longer a real phone? And I’m serious, this was real. And then he had before and after photos where somebody had had the idea of let’s get before and after photos, you know, where you interview someone before they start working out? But then they never completed the thought. You know what I’m saying? I do. Where it’s like they interview them about getting in shape, but then they never actually like aired the part where they’re in shape. So it’s just sort of like an interview with people that are not in shape. And I’m like, and again, he’s a busy guy, busy entrepreneur, that kind of stuff is very common. It’s kind of laughable if it’s not your company. But OK, next box, you’ve got to determine your customer acquisition costs. How much does it cost you to get a customer? So Aaron, you guys run ads on Google, on Facebook, on retargeting ads. You have massive signage. There’s a lot of stuff you do. Why is it important to know how much it costs you at the end of the day to get an actual new buyer of a shawhorn? Well, because if you want more of those, you know what it costs to go generate more of those. And it’s a cost where it’s like, okay, well, I’m down in sales this month or this quarter or whatever and I need four more sales to make it a good quarter here before the end of the quarter. And it’s like, I know I can go put money into that and it’s going to cost me X number of dollars per customer to get there. And so then it’s just a matter of, do I want to spend that money to get to that point. So for us, it’s a pretty high number because it’s a big ticket item, but for some people it might be very small to get that, each customer. But for us, you’ve got to know what the number is because ultimately that goes into the price of your product and whatever you sell. We’re doing homes. That is one of our line item costs in our homes. That’s what costs, yeah. Now, if you go to any of the businesses that I’m involved in, you go to eitrlounge.com forward slash staff, I put in the password here. Once I put in the password, I have all of the documents needed to run the company. And they’re all saved. So the checklist for the manager, the opening checklist for the assistant manager, the bathroom cleaning checklist, everything needed to grow the company’s all in one place. And therefore, the business, everybody who works there knows where to go to find those documents. This is the kind of stuff that fires me up and it makes other people crazy. Oh yeah. So with the conferences we do, if we ever do a conference that’s out of town, I have a checklist of stuff I print out. I know it seems kind of crazy for people, but this is real. I print it out and it’s like, okay, socks. I’m gone for four days, I want to have 12 pairs of socks. Why? Because it could be hot, I don’t know. Could get wet, I don’t know. I have a list of deodorant and socks and shaving and I have a laptop and a backup laptop and I have patch cables and XLR cables and we bring three, you’ve seen all this stuff, but it’s multiple monitors, backup monitors, it’s backups for everything. When you guys build a Shaw home, you’re not moving off a guesswork. There’s blueprints, there’s plans, there’s systems, so houses don’t fall down. There’s somebody out here listening right now that doesn’t have systems in place, they don’t have checklists, they don’t have it, and so they have to have the, they have to think about everything all the time because if not they forget a step. What would you say is the importance of having taken the time to have built these systems now? It is the night and day difference between running around like your hair is on fire every day constantly playing firefighter or you know you hear people say I’m up to my armpits in alligators, you know. It’s because you don’t have systems and processes. And every time at Shaw Homes, every time that we have a problem come up, we automatically go, okay, what step in our system did this fall apart in? And what’s broken in that step and how can we fix it? So it never happens again. So we go fix the process. You know, we address the problem for the customer, but then we go back after that and we go, how do we fix the process so we don’t repeat this problem? And the business owners that are running around with their hair on fire all the time, it’s because there’s no systems, no processes, everything is urgent, everything is hair on fire. Correct. And it is a chaos world that you live in. And if you’re going to build homes for a living and build a lot of them, you cannot live in that chaos world. Now this next box, I get excited about all these boxes. This is what I get excited about. This right here is what I care about. The next box is management and execution. You have people on your team, and I’m just going to give some examples, and I hope this benefits somebody out there listening. You have people on your team. It’s their responsibility every time that you do a new house, they go out there and they design or they get the blueprint on the website. They get the new design of the home because people want to see floor plans. So somebody’s job is to get those up there. Somebody gets photos of every house that you guys are building. Somebody gets videos of every house. Somebody puts them all up for sale. Somebody answers the phone every day. Somebody calls the leads every day. Somebody cleans the bathroom every day. Somebody builds the houses every day. Now this is what I find and I’m sure none of our listeners can relate to this. Some of our listeners fire people and then nothing happens. So work with me on this. There are listeners out there that I talk to every day because we do free 13-point assessments. So I talk to two or three people a day who go to thrivetimeshow.com. They want to schedule a consultation. And the other day you heard me talking to Jordan. I said, Jordan, go ahead and keep setting those. He’s set an appointment with someone who’s definitely not a good fit. And you could tell he had a little question if that was okay. And I said, I would rather you set an appointment with somebody than not, because I don’t know if who’s a good fit or not. But the idea though is, I sit down, I was talking to a guy the other day, and he was like, the reason why my team did not get Google reviews or videos reviews this week is because we fired a guy. And I go, cause I’m just asking him, where are we stuck? What’s your biggest limiting factor? I have a big process I go through in my evaluation. I said, who calls the leads? He’s like, well, normally I have a person that calls the leads, but we just fired her. And I mean this, I’m going, how long have you been in business? This guy’s been in business for over 10 years and he’s reaching out for help, good person. We’re trying to help him. I think it’s going to be a good fit. But so I said, so basically everybody follows the systems until they don’t work there anymore. And then no one does the systems. And you go back and forth vacillating from things being done to not being done. One of my favorite things about working with you guys is that you’re honest people. What does that mean? You do your best to do what you say you’re going to do and you hold yourself and the employees accountable. Absolutely. But what would happen if every week you, if somebody wasn’t performing, you remove them from the position and then the houses weren’t built for the week because something wasn’t going well or because maybe a salesperson wasn’t performing at the peak, you let them go and the next thing you know—what would happen if you managed your company that way? It would be a disaster. I mean, I can’t just fire my superintendent without having somebody already ready to take over all of those responsibilities because I’ve got materials showing up at the job site today, tomorrow, and the next day. I’ve got trades showing up who need some supervision, need to know what they’re supposed to be doing. If I fire that guy with no warning, somebody else has to come fill in that position. So, you know, for us, we try to never have that gap happen. And, you know, sometimes it’s like, you know that you’re going to need to fire somebody and you can see the writing on the wall. Right. But you want to get the next person up and ready to go before that happens. And you guys have a weekly meeting, so we talk a lot on this show from an employer perspective, but how frustrating would it be to be an A player employee and you’re working for a C player boss? You know, a boss that doesn’t have a staff meeting, that’s not organized, that doesn’t pay people on time, that’s constantly emotional. I see that a lot. And so management is a learned skill. And thankfully, you know, when I first met with you, you’d already really mastered, in my opinion, managing people. But this next box is where I thought we needed some help, was to build a system for constantly recruiting new people because certain people work for Shaw Homes for three years or four years, and then they want to go move, they want to have a baby, they want to stay home, they want to get a new job. And even though you have low turnover at Shaw, certain people get to their expiration date and it’s time for them to move on to something else. And because we didn’t have a process in place at Shaw at that time to consistently bring in a pipeline of new people, it made it difficult to do the management that was needed. Can you talk about the importance of implementing a human resources program for hiring, inspiring, training and retaining good people? It’s huge. I mean, that was definitely an Achilles heel for us. And you helped us a lot with that. You know, putting in a, you know, where every single week I’m seeing, you know, potential candidates that could come work for us and their job shadowing and seeing what it’s like to work in our company every single week. Yep. It it does multiple things. It helps the people who work there to know, hey, there’s other people who desire to come work here. We go. And, you know, if I’m not doing my job, I might get replaced. So there’s a little bit of that. And then it’s also a thing of, you know, the people who are shadowing get to see the job being done by people who are happy doing their job. And it helps them to want to come be a part of Shaw Homes. I’ve got a very long list of people right now in every single position that would be excited to come work for us. If I did all of a sudden find myself with an opening, you know, because occasionally people leave with no notice or whatever, you know, something happens, family emergency, whatever. Right. And you have that, oh, I need to replace somebody immediately, and the great thing about it is I have a whole bunch of people that I could plug into that position very quickly because every single week I am interviewing. Now, the next box here is you gotta do your accounting and in order to automate, in order to earn millions, you have to automate your accounting. What does that mean? You have to have a system in place for making sure you price your products and services correctly and that you pay yourself first, that you set aside a set amount of money to pay yourself and your staff. All these things work together. What I find is people ask me, often just not knowing, they come from a place of a good heart, they don’t know, they say to me, Clay, what is the most important step in growing Shaw Homes? I’ve heard Aaron on the show, he’s a great guy. Clay, I’ve heard PMHOKC on the show. Clay, I’ve seen OxiFresh on the show. What was the most important thing they did? And to me, that’s like asking a hiker, what was the most important step you took to get to the top of that mountain? Well, it was the one we took there an hour ago. I took a left step. No, it’s also, I guess, get a baker. What’s the most important ingredient? Is it milk? Is it sugar? Is it eggs? It’s like asking a farmer, what’s the most important thing, feeding the animals or watering them? What’s the key to your success? There’s just certain questions that I understand people want to know, but all of this has to work together and nothing works unless you do. So I have three final questions for you. For anybody out there that’s thinking about scheduling a consultation, a free consultation with Thrivetimeshow.com and myself, obviously they’re stuck with me if they fill out the form. I’m the only person that does 13-point assessments. I believe we, I’ve seen it since 2005, we help people decrease their costs, increase their time, freedom, and profits. What would you say is the benefit of scheduling that 13-point assessment? Well, actually, the 13-point assessment was very eye-opening for me. You asked me a lot of tough questions that I probably should have been asking myself and wasn’t. And so as we went through the questions, I was like, I think at every question you asked me, I was like, oh, that’s a good question. And I was like, hang on, let me think about that for a minute. So I find that it kind of helps open your eyes to, you know, hmm, these are some things that I know I have some areas of weakness. And then there were, I think, a couple of the questions where I was like, oh, I know the answer to this one. I got this one, no problem. But it helps you sort of identify, I walked away having identified areas of strength and areas of weakness, even though that really wasn’t the purpose of the phone call necessarily, it helped me to see that. And then I was like, hmm, I think I have a need in a couple of these areas, and I didn’t really know what to do for myself. I didn’t have the answers. You know, in part three of today’s show, part two we’re going to show the Ronnie Morales story, and part three we’re going to do a testimony with Myron. And Myron just bought his first Lamborghini today, and he’s super fired up. And so Myron’s about six years down the path. We’ve been working with you for about eight years, whereas Ronnie’s been with us for less than a year. And it’s at a certain point that we have to take action. Knowledge without application is meaningless. What would you say to somebody who’s like, you know, it’s $1,700 a month, and, you know, I’m spending that much right now on random ads and that much money on random regrettable purchases at the gas station and you know a lot of iTunes I’m downloading. I’m spending $700 a month on various things and I don’t know if I can afford it because I’ve just bought another vehicle that I can’t afford but I’m leasing it. You know what would you say to anybody who’s kind of on that fence? I mean I would say you need to do it. I mean it has made a it has been a game changer for us. I don’t know why you would sit there and think $1,700 a month is too much money to spend. Go find the money somewhere. Go empty out your sofa cushions. Go sell the stuff that you have in your house that you’re not using. I mean, go get whatever you need to do to get to that place. You need to find that $1,700. And I will say this, that cost was very quickly replaced with the extra money we were making. And I’ve seen, I’ve actually seen, because I’ve been around you for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of your clients come in and right off the bat, they’re real nervous about, am I gonna be able to, you know, because maybe they’re a smaller company or whatever, and they’re like, I’m wondering if I’m gonna be able to handle this 1700 a month. And then I see them six months later, and I’m like, how’s it going now? And they’re like, man, we’re just hitting record after record. I have referred several business owners to you. And they’re doing great. That are killing it. And that, you know, I’ll give one example. I won’t name the person, but I did send one of my very good friends to you who was on the verge of losing his business because he just wasn’t able, he had bought another one of the shops of what he does. He opened it and it was not profitable and it was going to take under both of his shops. And I sent him over to you. And I remember about three months later, I asked him, how’s it going? And he goes, man, we just had a record-breaking month. This was amazing. And by the way, he said, first, you just had another record-breaking month, just so you know. And I know right now, not only does he have way more income, but he has a lot more time freedom because he’s been working with you for many years now. And so that was it changed his life just like it changed my life. I would say, if you’re thinking about doing a 13-point assessment, stop thinking. Dial the phone. Pause this video. Make the phone call. Reach out to Clay. Get it started right now. Now, a final question I have is, I think people look at oxyfresh.com and they go, man, there’s 500 locations now. Yeah. And they look at Elephant in the Room and they go, there’s five brick-and-mortar locations now. They look at Shaw Homes and they go, you know, these are big success stories. I don’t know that I can do it. What would you say to somebody out there that just feel like they might not have the, like all this stuff they’re going to learn is going to be over their head, too complicated. What would you say? I would say the information, the ideas are easy. It’s the application that is difficult for people. The ideas that you share, there’s nothing that’s like, oh my God, I don’t have a PhD, therefore I can’t do it. I feel like it’s all very, very simple stuff, but it is a lot of action to get traction. And you’ve got to get the action going. And I think if somebody has diligence and discipline or can learn diligence or discipline, they’re going to do extremely well. And it’s not about education. It’s about action. Now, Aaron, I got one thing I want to say. And then we’re going to wrap up today’s show with a boom. Because boom stands for big, overwhelming, optimistic momentum. And that’s what’s required to have success. People watching this are going, Aaron, he looks like a normal guy. Well, that’s true. They say, well, he sounds like a normal guy. He sounds like an all right guy. That’s true. But the one thing you can’t quite picture on the show, and I want to just give that gift to you folks who are watching, is Aaron smells tremendous. If you had smell-o-vision, if you could just get up there and just smell that, it’s incredible. It’s really his aroma that allows him to achieve massive success. So unless it’s so if you’re out there and you’re go What’s the secret sauce? It’s a sauce. It’s more just a smell So, I don’t know if you qualify to have the kind of success he has unless you smell like he smells It’s a really tremendous. Okay, let’s do this thing with a boom. Here we go. Three two one The Thrive Time Show two-day interactive business workshops are the highest and most reviewed business workshops on the planet. You can learn the proven 13-point business systems that Dr. Zellner and I have used over and over to start and grow successful companies. When we get into the specifics, the specific steps on what you need to do to optimize your website. We’re going to teach you how to fix your conversion rate. We’re going to teach you how to do a social media marketing campaign that works. How do you raise capital? How do you get a small business loan? We teach you everything you need to know here during a two-day, 15-hour workshop. It’s all here for you. You work every day in your business, but for two days you can escape and work on your business and build these proven systems so now you can have a successful company that will produce both the time freedom and the financial freedom that you deserve. You’re gonna leave energized, motivated, but you’re also gonna leave empowered. The reason why I’ve built these workshops is because as an entrepreneur I always wish that I had this. And because there wasn’t anything like this, I would go to these motivational seminars with no money down, real estate, Ponzi scheme, get motivated seminars, and they would never teach me anything. It was like you went there and you paid for the big chocolate Easter bunny, but inside of it, it was a hollow nothingness. And I wanted the knowledge, and they’re like, oh, but we’ll teach you the knowledge after our next workshop. And the great thing is we have nothing to upsell. At every workshop, we teach you what you need to know. There’s no one in the back of the room trying to sell you some next big get-rich-quick, walk-on-hot-coals product. It’s literally we teach you the brass tacks, the specific stuff that you need to know to learn how to start and grow a business. And I encourage you to not believe what I’m saying, and I want you to Google the Z66 auto auction. I want you to Google elephant in the room. Look at Robert Zellner and Associates. Look them up and say, are they successful because they’re geniuses, or are they successful because they have a proven system? When you do that research, you will discover that the same systems that we use in our own business can be used in your business. Come to Tulsa, book a ticket, and I guarantee you it’s going to be the best business workshop ever and we’ll even give you your money back if you don’t love it. We’ve built this facility for you and we’re excited to see you. Hey, I’m Ryan Wimpey with Tip Top Canine and I’m the founder. I’m Rachel Wimpey and I am a co-founder. So we’ve been running Tip Top for about the last 14 years, franchising for the last three or four years. So someone that would be a good fit for Tip Top loves dogs, they’re high energy, they want to be able to own their own job, but they don’t want to worry about, you know, the high failure rate. They want to do that like bowling with bumper lanes. So you give us a call, reach out to us, we’ll call you, and then we’ll send you an FDD, look over that, read it, fall asleep to it, it’s very boring, and then we’ll book a discovery day and you come and you can spend a day or two with us, make sure that you actually like it, make sure your canine dog is something that you want to do. So an FCD is a franchise disclosure document. It’s a federally regulated document that goes into all the nitty-gritty details of what the franchise agreement entails. So who would be a good fit to buy a Tip Top Canine would be somebody who loves dogs, who wants to work with dogs all day as their profession. You’ll make a lot of money, you’ll have a lot of fun, it’s very rewarding. And who would not be a good fit is a cat person. So the upfront cost for Tip Top is $43,000. And a lot of people say they’re generating doctor money, but on our disclosure, the numbers are anywhere from over a million dollars a year in dog training, what our Oklahoma City location did last year, to 25, 35 grand a month. To train and get trained by us for Tip Top K9, to run your own Tip Top K9. You would be with us for six weeks here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve been married for seven years. Eight years. So if you’re watching this video, you’re like, hey, maybe I want to be a dog trainer. Hey, that one sounds super amazing. Go to our website, tiptopk9.com. Click on the yellow franchising tab, fill out the form, and Rachel and I will give you a call. Our Oklahoma City location last year, they did over a million dollars. He’s been running that shop for three years. Before he was a youth pastor with zero sales experience, zero dog training experience before he ever met with us. So just call us, come spend a day with us, spend a couple days with us, make sure you like training dogs and own your own business. Well the biggest reason to buy a Tip Top K9 is so you own your own job and you own your own future and you don’t hate your life. You get an enjoyable job that brings a lot of income but is really rewarding. My name is Seth Flint and I had originally heard about Tip Top K9 through my old pastors who I worked for. They trained their great Pyrenees with Ryan and Tip Top K9. They did a phenomenal job and became really good friends with Ryan and Rachel. I was working at a local church and it was a great experience. I ended up leaving there and working with Ryan and Tip Top K9. The biggest thing that I really, really enjoy about being self-employed is that I can create my own schedule. I have the ability to spend more time with my family, my wife and my daughter. So my very favorite thing about training dogs with Tip Top K9 is that I get to work with the people. Obviously I love working with dogs, but it’s just so rewarding to be able to train a dog that had serious issues, whether it’s behavioral or whatever, and seeing a transformation, taking that dog home and mom and dad are literally in tears because of how happy they are with the training. If somebody is interested, I’d say don’t hesitate. Make sure you like dogs, make sure that you enjoy working with people because we’re not just dog trainers. We are customer service people that help dogs. And so definitely, definitely don’t hesitate. Just come in and ask questions. And so definitely, definitely don’t hesitate. Just come in and ask questions. Ask all the questions you have.