Undrafted Ex-NBA Player Turned Motivational Speaker Walter Bond on Leadership, Mentorship and Next Level Success

Show Notes

Walter Bond shares how he went from being an undrafted University of Minnesota basketball who never started a basketball game in college to being an NBA-Player and the importance of listening, following directions and executing.

Book – Swim!: How a Shark, a Suckerfish, and a Parasite Teach You Leadership, Mentoring, and Next Level Success

  1. Walter Bond, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir?!
  2. Walter, your speaking career is next level, but I would like to go back to beginning You played college basketball at the University of Minnesota. How good of high school basketball player were you?
    1. I always dreamed about playing in the NBA.
    2. I was a typical kid in Chicago and grew up in a sports family.
    3. Growing up, I knew I was going to play pro sports. My biggest dilemma was picking which one.
    4. I was pretty good. I never played one sport year round. I cross trained.
    5. When I played in the NBA I was asked how I developed my left hand. I credit my ability to use my left hand to practicing baseball.
  3. I would love for you share about your college basketball career at the University of Minnesota. How would you describe your college basketball career?
    1. I played a little bit of each sport.
    2. When I got to Minnesota they already had a great baseball team which made it difficult for me to get involved.
    3. I chose basketball and some people who really know me said I picked the wrong sport. My body was really built for baseball and when I trained to be in the NBA I had to transform my body.
    4. My basketball career was very average. I never cracked the starting line up.
    5. How did I do it?
      1. Every year I wanted to be the most improved player
      2. Every year in my off season, I got to work
      3. In 4 years, I changed my body and willed myself into being a great player
  4. What did your routine look like on your path to being most-improved every year?
    1. It was very structured. Everything was built in to your day as a college athlete. You just had to show up and work hard.
    2. It really conditioned me to work hard and stay focused.
    3. In the off season most people would take a break but I cranked it up.
    4. To this day I take business owners and teach them how to stop working in their business and work on their business on the “Off Season”.
    5. You can never arrive and you can never stop working
    6. You have to be thinking about how you can win your next championship even when you have just won the day before.
  5. Walter Bond, you spoke at the annual Oxi Fresh Conference and you blew the minds of all of the franchisees, vendors, and people in attendance…at that conference you spoke about the mindset we need to have to be successful. I would love for you share about the mindset we need to succeed with our listeners?
    1. The mindset of a successful person is different. The characteristics are:
      1. Being a risk taker
      2. Being aggressive
      3. Having confidence
    2. When I was making my way into the NBA I had to be aggressive and consistent.
    3. I knew that my path to the NBA was just like the path of a business.
    4. There are A students, B students and C students in a class.
      1. The C students accept getting their C grade
      2. The A student sitting right next to the C student will only accept an A. To the A student, there are no other options. The B and C don’t even exist. If somehow the A student gets a B or a C they obsess over why it happened and how they can prevent it in the future.
    5. Very few classes, teams, companies and individuals have this “A student” mindset.
  6. Walter Bond, you’ve given a talk about the formative years in one’s life and how that can impact our mindset for our entire life unless we are very intentional about shaping our mindset. Talk about the formative years?
    1. Many students will go home and tell their parents “The teacher gave me a C”. No they didn’t. You earned that “C”. The same way, you earn that “A”.
    2. I used to be a “C” student until I changed.
    3. I became an “A” player and could not stand getting a “C”
    4. I began to learn and compete in the classroom the same way I was passionate about sports.
    5. I competed with my classmates in the exact same way that I competed with the players on the field.
    6. My parents never told me to get an “A”. They just told me to “Do your best”.
    7. If you do your best, you will be excellent.
    8. Most people don’t give their best because they want an excuse incase they fail.
    9. They are afraid of getting personally rejected. They want a scapegoat that they can use to make themselves feel better.
    10. If you don’t give your best, you will spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been.
    11. I did my best and now we have huge clients. I am a Hall of Fame Speaker.
    12. If you do your best, you are an “A” student
    13. I never made it into the NBA Hall of Fame but I did my best and I got that NBA Jersey.
    14. I wish I could jump like Michael Jordan and play like Lebron but I can’t. I became the best Walter Bond that I could be.
    15. People always have excuses.
    16. People who haven’t made it are still where they are at are there because they are not giving it all they have. They are not selling out.
    17. Every single year I made a commitment to get bigger, faster and stronger.
    18. The Greatest Of All Times out there are, right now, thinking about how they can become better.
  7. Walter, self-discipline…what role has self-discipline played in helping you to make it into the NBA and now into the world of motivational speaking?
    1. I watch game film. In sports and in speaking I watch game film.
    2. I got videos of all of the biggest and greatest speakers at the time and watched them.
    3. All successful speakers are:
      1. Entertaining and dynamic
      2. Bring useful information and teaching
        1. Easy simple take homes that you can implement now and start seeing results.
    4. We are in the transformational business. You can’t transform an organization in 60 minutes because we all have habits and rituals. You have to break those habits and rituals and build new ones
    5. You have to train your employees how to think and how to respond.
    6. Most companies don’t want to invest in their employees.
    7. You are training and development program that is masked by offering a product or service.
  8. Exceptional people dealing with mediocrity
    1. I don’t get along with average people.
    2. Average people are full of excuses and aren’t accountable.
    3. The smartest thing I did was to join a country club.
    4. I have fellowship with people who take action and go for their goals
    5. When I got to the club, I fit! We all had the same mindset.
    6. The founder of Home Depot lives in my neighborhood.
    7. Iron sharpens iron and the best thing you can do as a “C” student is to start hanging out with “A” students
    8. Before I knew it, I started walking, talking and thinking just like my billionaire neighbors.
    9. Any great person has a mentor.
    10. A suckerfish waits for a shark to swim by and connects with the shark. The suckerfish keeps the shark clean in exchange for the scraps of food that the shark leaves behind.
    11. My first goal at the country club was to find ways to help these people. In exchange for their time.
    12. God says that “My ways are higher than your ways.” which is why an “A” student doesn’t cram in work at the last moment. An “A” student is what Jesus wants all of us to be.
  9. Walter, you come across as a very proactive person despite constant demands on your time. How do you typically organize that first 4 hours of your work day?
    1. I wake up at 5:00 AM
    2. I read my Bible
    3. I work out
    4. I come back and have breakfast
    5. I work form 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
      1. I want to make a lot of money and be successful but more importantly I want to be a great dad.
      2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “You want to make decisions not based on what you can afford. You want to make decisions based on what is best for your family.” – Walter Bond
      3. I wanted to make more money in business than I did in sports.
  10. Walter Bond, you come across as a very well read person. What is a book or a few books that you would recommend for all of our listeners to check out?
    1. Traction – Gino Wickman
    2. Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
    3. Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson
    4. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
    5. The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
    6. Swim!: How a Shark, a Suckerfish, and a Parasite Teach You Leadership, Mentoring, and Next Level Success
  11. Walter, what is your vision for you the next 12 months of your life?

ACTION ITEM: What area are you “mailing it in”? What area are you being a “C” student? Anything you say yes to, make it excellence

  1. Limit the number of things you say “yes” to so you can have a laser-like focus to be excellent in the areas that you do say yes to.
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

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On today’s show,

we’re interviewing Walter Bond. Walter Bond is one of the most sought after motivational speakers on the planet that you’ve never heard of today. Walter delivers over 100 keynote speeches every year to corporations and organizations around the world, including at the 2019 Oxi fresh annual Franchisee conference where he successfully delivered in inspiring message to the Oxi fresh franchisees and team members. How did Walter Co for being an undrafted player from the University of Minnesota who never started a college basketball game to becoming an NBA basketball player? Realizing his dream when playing for the NBA is Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks and the Detroit Pistons after his playing days were done. How did he become one of the most sought after motivational speakers on the planet? Ladies and gentlemen, Walter Bond is, it’s more than just a speaker. He’s also an author of the book swim. How a shark, a sucker fish and a parasite teach you leadership, mentoring, and next level success. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the mindset changing, inspirational message

that you need to hear.

And I believe collectively as a group, we’re going to kick the competency, how important it is, the big execute and Dominic, suck it up. Get up perhaps. Except people aren’t like a lot of money when they want it to be easy without any challenges. You think it was easy for me to become one of the top 450 basketball players in the world that you’ve never heard of him. The only way I made it to the NBA that was fundamentally sound. I was mentally tough and I never quit. And even when I wanted me to quit, I had people in my life that will make sure I didn’t quit.

I hired and and set up the top 10 motivational speakers, watch all their videos and I watched the one by one because I understand. I pay attention to what the best of doors I could be the best to. I watch game film of Michael Jordan. No matter how much I can do with migratory can do. I would watch magic Johnson. I couldn’t do a magic Johnson would do, but I sat in heavy video. I watched Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Baja wife was scared. I was scared. I called him to my office and I sat with a post to save. I said, hey, we won’t be okay every month to check in. Account was drunk. I said they were going to be okay. Let’s start a motivational speaker business.

I go to Jerry Sloan and I said, Jerry, I’m trying to make your team, but since we don’t scream inch, I feel like I can’t show you what I can do. Go to the route here me clearly listen to his answer and they will unlock some mysteries as to how you become the best in the world at what you do over long period of time. Jerry, I’m trying to make you take, but I feel like I can’t show you what I can do. He says, Walter, I already know what you mean. What if you want to make my team, I suggest you listen, follow direction and listen, follow direction.

Sam shows don’t need a celebrity in a writer to introduce the show. This show dies to man, eight kids co created by two different women, 13 mode time, million dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome

to the thrive time show started with

yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation. On today’s show, we have an incredible guest by the name of Mr [inaudible]

Walter Bond water bond. Welcome on to the thrive time show, sir. How are you?

Well, thank you clay. I’m blown away by that amazing, um, kind of intro promo team. So that’s big time and that’s my motto. I started from the bottom. Now I’m here, so I love it and I feel at home.

Well, Jonathan Barnett, I appreciate that Jonathan Barnett, uh, introduced me to your speaking, the founder of Oxi fresh, who I’ve worked with, uh, over the years. And, uh, I just want to ask you kind of going back to the beginning though, before you became this big time speaker, let’s go back to the bottom, like your motto. Um, when did you, uh, when did you realize that you might have the potential to play in the NBA?

No, I always dreamed about it. And to be honest with you, my biggest challenge was what sport? You know, I was a typical kid growing up in Chicago, came up in a sports family. My uncle played major league baseball, my sister played college basketball, won two national championships and I’m the youngest. So obviously baseball season. I’m a baseball player and I’m going to play in the major league football season. I’m a tidy in, I’m a play in the NFL basketball season. I’m a plan MBA and if a boxing match came on with Muhammad Ali, you know, maybe I’ll be the next heavyweight champ. So growing up, to be honest with you, I knew I was going to play pro sports. My biggest dilemma was which one? I’m just kind of been naturally gifted by God to be, you know, sports comes easy to me.

How good were you in high school and basketball?

Um, you know, pretty good. But one of the disadvantages of being so is that I never played one year round and I believe in cross training. I think one of the biggest mistakes that parents make now is that they have kids committed to one sport. You know when they’re nine years old. And we did what we call cross trained. So for example, you know, and I played Nba with the Dallas Mavericks, I was the player of the game one night and the announcer says, Walter Bond, your left hand is amazing. How did you develop your left hand? You know clay, I was stumped and I went home thinking about it, my left hand and base baseball, I was a bad catcher. So you have to use your left hand and catch a baseball. I credit my left hand and basketballs solely to being a baseball player. In baseball you have to use your left hand, your right hand. So without that baseball career in cross training, I would not have had a strong left hand. It could’ve made a difference in being and me being an NBA player or not. So I believe in cross training, but at a young age I always dreamt of playing pro sports.

You went to the University of Minnesota. Did you play multiple sports there or just basketball?

Little bit. You know, when I got recruited out of high school, every recruiting trip I took, I would always visit with the baseball coaches. Well and unfortunately when I got to Minnesota I wanted to be the next day winfield field. But Minnesota had a very good baseball team. They had a guy named Dan Wilson who was the all American back catcher who was basically the same year in school was I was. And they had a bunch of guys go and play in the major league. So when you play basketball full time and then have a school with a great baseball team, it’s very difficult. So I would plan the summer when those guys went out to the Cape Cod League play pretty good this summer, ended up having a private workout with the twin. Oh. And now I know why a lot of the Latin players lie about their age, you know, to scout looked at me, you know, I was about 2122 at the time and he said, look, if you were 19 I do something. He was like, you know, at 2122 you’re just too old, you know, but if you were in 19 I would do something. But for me, you know, I was still playing pro basketball and that validation from a major league scout was all I really want to do here. Uh, because baseball was near and dear to me, but I made a decisive decision. I chose basketball, but some people who really know me still think I picked the wrong sport.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I was, you know, I was a very good, baseball came a little easier for me because in basketball, you know, I have a big body, you know, and so I always had to lose weight, you know, always had to do extra conditioning. You know, probably basketball for me to play at the pro level required me to almost transform my body. You know, in baseball, you know, you look at Frank Thomas or, or Cecil fielder, I mean, heck, some of these guys are obese and I wasn’t nearly obese. But you know, baseball, if you can put the wood on that, you know, the ball, they don’t care as much about how fast you can run. But in basketball and the NBA to guard and Michael Jordan or Clyde Drexler or Reggie Miller, I mean I had to be down to like 212 pounds, which was a lot of work for me in the body type that I had.

Yeah. Let me ask, what college basketball, college basketball career, like, how would you describe, uh, your college basketball career at the university? Minnesota,

you know, very average. You know, I mean, that’s kind of set the tone for my incredible motivational speaking platform. I never started in college. I always came off the bench. I was considered the top six men, the country. But the truth was I never cracked the starting lineup. And so people always ask me, wait a minute, you played an MBA but you didn’t start in college? I’m like, absolutely. And I began to make a living telling people how I did it and how I did it was very simple. Anyone listening to me today, you can do the same thing every year. I wanted to be most improved player, you know, we would have a banquet at the end of the season at the University of Minnesota. And the only trophy that I cared about was most improved. And so every year my off season, our got to work. I worked on my left hand, my right hand, I became a worker. And basically in four years I transformed my game, my body, my potential, and basically willed myself into becoming an NBA player.

What was your routine like when you were willing yourself into becoming this most improved player every year? I mean, what does your schedule look like? What does your routine look like? What kind of disciplines did you have in your life?

Oh my God, very focused. Very. Uh, one thing about being a college athlete your whole day is control, right? So you have to get up at 5:36 AM, you know, sometimes he had to go to practice, so he had to go get treatment or something. And you didn’t really get free until like 10:00 PM. And the good news is, is that study table and training table, everything was built in to your day as a college athlete. All you had to do was show up and you know, just kind of work hard, you know? And so for four years of that, of that kind of discipline really conditioned me than even in the off season. I took that work very seriously. So the schedule for us with a little bit more lax because people were in summer school and you know, it was quote unquote the off season. But I cranked it up.

I mean I was shooting 500 shots a day. I’m running, I’m lifting, I’m losing weight because my NBA dream was on life support and my off season was the only way that I can make a move. It was the only way I can improve. And so to this day, my training and development company, we have a concept called the off season and we take entrepreneurs and business owners through what we call a business off season where you don’t work in your business, you work on your business. So if you don’t like yourself, let’s work on it. And if you don’t like your call true, let’s work on it. You don’t have core values, that’s one on it. You know, you, you need to open up a new brands and new location, need to change your brand, whatever it is, you do all that in the off season. And that conditioning is sports really positioned me to get on this track of continuous improvement.

And that’s the big message that I share with my corporate audiences. You can never arrive, you know, actually fresh. You got to get bigger, you gotta get strong, you got to get faster. I don’t care what happened last season, you better believe the New England patriots right now are trying to figure out how can they win another Superbowl. Okay. You know, and, and, and the Green Bay packers and how can we get back? And you know, the Chicago Bulls in the years they won championships, as soon as the season’s over, the next seasons, the brand new season, and you want to win again. And so you got to make improvements. So even when you win a championship, you still have to improve your team and your roster. If you pick, you have a chance of repeating a championship. So as a pro athlete you can never arrived and you can never stop working.

You know, despite being undrafted, you ended up playing for the Dallas Mavericks. I wanted to just ask you this, you, you, you spoke at the Oxi fresh conference and you wowed people there when they hear this undrafted guy played for the jazz, he played for the Mavericks. These people are just absolutely wowed. The vendors were, well, the Franchisees were wet, people attendance are still talking about it. I’d love for you to share about the mindset that you have versus the mindset of the average. Again, everybody out there can do it. I’m not saying you’re a supernatural human. I’m just saying the mindset of super successful people versus the mindset of the average person. How is that different

you all, first of all, it is different. You know, I live in a country club here in Florida and um, and there’s a lot of wealthy people in my neighborhood and everybody’s different. Know, everybody’s obsessed with, right? Everybody’s very competent. And there’s certain characteristics that you must have in order to be very successful in one. You gotta be a little bit of a risk taker. You got to be aggressive, you got to have confidence. And so, you know, the one thing that’s kind of separated me from other former athletes who are motivational speakers, my parents were teachers. And so it’s one thing to tell my story of how I made it to the NBA. You know, despite these incredible odds, I’m able to teach my corporate audience how they can do it. Hey, so for example, you know, in, in, in the NBA, I was shoot 500 shots a day.

You know, those are good habits and rituals. So when I left sports and got in the business, guess what I did? I created the habits and rituals and I would call 25 people a day and ask them to buy. You know, to me it was the same thing. Like if I made it to the NBA by having good habits and good rituals and good repetition, let me bring that mindset to my business. Right? And so when we coach and consult companies, we teach them about the right mindset. So for example, you know, remember back in school you had eight students and you have to see students, right? Right. I see students have made up their mind. The day school starts that I’ll be happy with the C. I mean, think about that. I mean, a c student is already resigned themselves that if I get a c in this class, I’ll be happy.

The first day of school, you’re not even thinking about a, they’re not really thinking about a B. They’ve already pretty much accepted that if I get a c in this class, that’s acceptable to me. But meanwhile, sitting right next to that sees students is a different kid who says, you know what, I’m an a student and I expect an a in his class. My mom has a bumper sticker on the car, the Claire me or eight on the rules, Stoughton. That’s who I am. That’s what I do. And in this class I expect to get an a. So when, when the two mindsets are in the classroom for a whole semester, who’s most likely to get an a the kid who expects to get an a right and that the kid with the AA attitude get to be on one quiz or be on the midterm.

They’re freaking out. Why? Because I’m an a student and how the heck did I get a B on my midterm? This is not good. What a c student gets an a or B on a midterm. That’s a good, good reason to coast the rest of the semester. And they ended up sabotaging themselves until they land on that. See where they shot for or the goal of a c. So the question I have for any adult, I don’t care what kind of student you were growing up in middle school or high school, but if you had that same mentality and middle school and high school, there’s a good chance you still have it. You know, you work for so and so company and you just want to be an average sales rep. You just want to be an average manager, you just want to be an average president, or you just want to be an average CEO instead of saying, you know what, I’m never average in anything I do.

I want to be a great CEO, right? I want to be the number one sales rep. I want my whole department, my whole division to get A’s. You know, you’ve had a bleed when Michael Jordan went to training camp, the expectation was the championship and anything less than the championship was a failed season. That’s what I call an a student. And so unfortunately the pro sports, very few teams at the high level of pro sports have that mindset. And New England has it. When they go to training camp, Tom Brady’s basically saying, bill Belicheck is basically saying the goal of this program, of this culture, it’s the win a championship. And that’s what we do. That’s who we are at. Anything less won’t do. But there’s other teams in the NFL who could care less about championships, right? Cause they see themselves as a c student and since they see themselves and see students, they never win a championship because they never really tried.

I watched an interview with Tom Brady and he was being asked about all pro performances and do we feel like the Patriots got enough? You know, all players nominated to the all pro team. And he kind of looked at the question, the person asking him almost like they were from a different planet. And then he said, aren’t we trying to win a ring here? I mean, it just, this whole mindset is trying to win a championship, not trying to, you know, see how many token, uh, awards they can when they’re, um, you’re a guy who you, you, you have that mindset. But you talked to the Oxi fresh conference and I’ve heard you talk about this, about these formative years. There’s somebody listening right now. There’s probably one person listening who’s going during my formative years. My father taught me that a c was good and he taught me, Walter, that I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself because I don’t do well under pressure. I just can’t handle that kind of rejection. Walter, you know, I just, the anxiety that would cause me to set a goal and not achieve it. Ah, I just, ah, it was a lot of that blame and going on and now they’re 35 years old. Helps somebody. If you’re sitting down with somebody right now and they said, you can say anything to me, you need to say help get me out of this Rut of mediocrity. I’m trapped.

Clay, you know, mainly students would go home and talk to mom and dad. So, you know, the teacher gave me a c, no she didn’t. You earned a c but the same way a teacher, you know, quote unquote give you an a, you earn the A and so that mindset shift is big because you know what? I used to be a c student clay and I’m writing books and I’m writing training programs. I was got a good student growing up. You know why I didn’t care. I was in a suit in baseball. I was an ace student basketball. I was in a student football I made. If my team didn’t win, I was angry. If I didn’t dominate, I was angry. If I had a bad game, oh my God, I couldn’t go to bed. I would beat myself up all night. Why? Because I was an a student and sports, but I didn’t care about school or academics the way my older brother and sister did.

But here’s the good news. Eventually I’m a toured. Eventually I began to get my values in the right order. And before I knew it, I began to really love school and love learning. And I began to compete in the classroom the same way I competed in sports. And here’s what made me mad. When I got to the University of Minnesota, I never forget my freshman year, they put me in a classroom and I saw all my friends, a bunch of football players or basketball players, a bunch of athletes. And after awhile I was like, wait a minute, why are we all in the same class? And that got me so angry and it was almost sending me a message that this is where we put the athletes because we’re not sure if you can handle the curriculum that the other students have. Oh, that was the last time that happened to me.

I’m the control of my schedule. I pick my own classes and I went into every class I had at the University of Minnesota and competed and my mindset was, you know what? You guys enjoy me on the basketball court. We have 50,000 students. Many students say, man, thank you for being a good ball player. Glad to team is good and we love watching you play. You are my favorite player and you guys played last night. I can’t believe you made it to class and like, listen, I competed the last night and I woke up this morning to come and compete with you. See, if you don’t compete in life, you end up being average, but it has nothing to do with the ability. It has nothing to do with talent. For the most part I’ve learned. It’s all mindset. That’s what the University of Minnesota, when I sat on the bench before I knew what I was a c student again, but this time it’s sports.

But I will myself to victory to the support and the encouragement from my parents. Listen, then the core values of our family was to be excellent and excellent. Just meant doing your best. You know, my parents and said, you got to get an a. Just do your best. You know, you don’t have to play in the NBA, but you do your best, but you do your best. I’ll be proud of you. But here’s the truth. We are all talented. We’re all gifted. And I really a confidence that if anyone listened to me today, if you do your best, you have success. If you do your best, you’ll be excellent. But here’s what happens. A lot of people procrastinate and they don’t give their best because they need an excuse just in case it didn’t work out. And I figured out in life, that’s why people are average.

They need this excuse to basically be able to say, well, you know, I could’ve gotten a better grade, but I blew off the class. I could’ve gotten a better job, but I blew off the job interview. I could’ve done better, but I didn’t, but I got a good excuse. Why? Instead of saying, you know what, I gave it all I had, but I wasn’t good enough to play in India. I gave it all I have, but you know what? I just didn’t have what it took to become a CEO. You know that person can live in freedom. You know that person can live their life without regrets. If you don’t do your best, if you don’t give it all you got, you’re going to go to the rest of your life thinking, what could have been, I don’t know right now, I don’t have to be able to say, well, I could have been an NBA ball player.

It happened. I don’t have to say, you know what? I should have been a motivational speaker. I bet you I could have been pretty good. I went forward and guess what? I’m a hall of fame speaker now. Now we have mentoring programs, now we have coaching programs. Now we do trainings, we have big clients. I mean we do Trinza walks in, in financial services and in franchising and you know, we have big companies calling us needing our services to come and build and boost their culture. You know, we have other trans we send out. I mean it’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish by just doing our best. So if anybody’s to me today, you know what, if you do your best, that’s an a student in my book. Okay. I never became an Nba all star, right? I never became a first round draft pick.

But the fact that I got an NBA Jersey for me and my ability and my talent, that was my age. And so based on your channel levels and ability is going to dictate truly how much success you could really have. But for Walter Bond and make the NBA was indicative of me becoming the best basketball player that accurately con. I wish I could jump like Michael Jordan. I couldn’t, I wish I was built like Lebron, but I’m not. I had to become the best walks bond that I can be and that’s my motivation and inspiration to motivate the world. You’ve got to become the best you by simply doing your best.

What was your process of making it into the NBA and getting your a, I mean, what was your, uh, how many times did you have to try out for teams? Did you, I mean, cause you’re, you’re undrafted. What did that process look like?

Well, when I left the University of Minnesota, I got drafted into the CVA, which today is the g league basically. Got It. And it was a developmental league where you, you kept your career on life support. And even when I went to the CVA, I kept getting better and I couldn’t understand the other guys who were in the CVA. Their mindset was, you know, uh, I’m here and you know, because of politics or I’m here because my college coach didn’t like me. It was all these excuses. And I was like, you know what, we’re here because we’re almost good enough. But not quite.

That was my mind. Fairly close to the MBA is still not quite there yet.

For me, that wasn’t true because we were that freaking good. We will be in there.

Yeah. Other

guy wearing this jersey. Right. So that mindset allowed me to keep working the same way I worked in college that even though I was playing minor league sports, guys are going out at night hanging out, drinking, doing drugs and I’m like, look what? What’s wrong with you guys? We’re so close to the NBA. Why wouldn’t you give it all you got right now? We could almost see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Right. And I made the all rookie team for my team and a CVA and that next year clay, I ended up starting for the Dallas Mavericks and I became the first ever undrafted rookie free agents and the history of the NBA to start opening night went from being a college reserve, 20 NBA starter. And all I did was every single year made a commitment to get bigger, stronger and faster. So that’s how I live.

That’s how we operate. You know what? People have heard me speak one year and they’re coming to hear you speak two years later and they were like, oh my God, you were good the first time. But Dude, you’re even better now. How did you do it? I’ll tell you how I do it every year I got to get better. I can’t stay the same and I’m motivating people to have that same. You got to believe right now, Tom Brady, it’s trying to figure out how to get better. If you were the beliefs, what cat? Tiger Woods right now it’s trying to figure out how can we get better, but so it’s targets, so as Microsoft, so it Starbucks, that’s what champions do. They try to figure out, no matter what, I got to get better.

How is a speaker cause you’re, you’re really good and I’ve watched you and I think there’s somebody out there who’s is probably a speaker. Another, it’s worse by the way. Wall Street. Then when someone’s a terrible speaker and everyone knows they’re terrible except for the person speaking on how do you, what is your process for becoming a better speaker? Do you watch a lot of video tape of yourself? Do you analyze that? Do you, do you contrast yourself versus other top notch speakers?

What, to be honest with you, before I began speaking, I watch the game. You know, no different than the NBA. You know, when you play sports, you watch the game, see, right? And not going to watch Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. It was no secret why they were legends in basketball. And so when I started my speaking career, I went and got les Brown’s videos, Zig video, Tony Robbins video. And I sat there and watched all their videos so I could have a visual of what greatness looks like as a speaker. And then I began to develop my own style. But the one thing that I noticed out of all great speakers, whether they’re male or female, black, white, doesn’t matter. They have two qualities. They’re all very entertaining and dynamic and they give great inflammation. So for the last 19 years, I entertain the audience. You’re going to laugh, you’re going to have a great time, you’re going to connect with me emotionally. I put on a show. I’m normally dress with sweat. I put on a performance.


yeah. I got to make sure that everybody in the ballroom, and sometimes it’s 3000 people, it might be 5,000 people. I’m going to hold you on the edge of your seat for the whole 60 minutes. You’re going to be entertained. You’re not going to be checking your voicemails. You’re not going to be checking the emails. You’re not going to be sending texts. Every phone’s away. I got you from the time I get that microphone, but while I entertain you with an incredible story, I’m teaching you along the way and I’m teaching you some easy, simple take homes that you can go back to your job and execute them. You’ll get results. And for most of our clients, they want more. When I’m done, they want me to do monthly webinars. They weren’t really to do group coaching sessions. They want me to come in and say all these concepts that you gave us in this keynote, we want this as a part of our culture.

How do you do it? How can you do it? And to me, the keynote for our business is the commercial far real business. We’re in the transformation business. I transformed as a college basketball player. I transformed as a student. So helping people transform is near and dear to my heart and that’s what we do. And here’s the truth. You can’t transform an organization and a 60 minute program because we all have habits and rituals and habits and rituals. A tough to break. That’s why you have to hear the same message over and over and over. Faith comes by hearing. My College basketball coach would say the same thing everyday for four years and over time we transform from boys into men. We transformed from amateurs into prose by being really trained and developed on how to become a pro. And so inside of the context of a company, you have to train your employees on how to think, how to respond, what to say, what not to say.

Chick filet is kicking butt and they train their employees. You say, please and thank you. A lot of companies won’t invest in them. They’ll say, I just want to hire some nice people and they should. They should know what to do that they should. They should know that. No, no, no, no. Kick filet trains their employees or saying please and thank you. [inaudible] store does four point 3,000,006 days. So think about that chick. Filet trains are people and may are kicking butt and one less day of being open. And I tell all my clients clay, and you can use this but give me the credit mark companies, our training and development organizations masquerading and their core business. That’s what I told Oxi fresh. You’re a training and development organization masquerading as a carpet cleaner. Upholstery cleaner, right? Mcdonald’s. What is it? It’s a training and development organization masquerading as a hamburger joint. They have what they call hamburger university and they’ve been training professionals and developing people and that’s how you build championship teams. You know bill Belicheck in New England patriots, you know they have one of the lowest payrolls in the NFL. You know Tom Brady was a six round pick. We have people on the team but didn’t even play college football, cross rugby, and then winning camp stuff with them. Why? Because of training and development.

I want to respect your time. First one is an audio clip from brother Td Jakes, my pastor that listened to pretty much every morning while I’m getting ready for work or driving to work. I’m gonna play this audio clip and I love to get your take on what he means by this. Okay, so here, here we go,

folks. So Jesus, who is exceptional, it’s having a conversation with ordinary and exceptional and ordinary. Always have a conflict. Anytime exceptional people dwell in the midst of ordinary thinking people, there’s always going to be conflict.

Exceptional people dealing with mediocrity. Conflict. I’d love to get your take on that.

Oh, I totally agree. You know, I don’t get along with the average people,


Because average people are full of excuses. You know, average people are not accountable. You know, the smartest thing I ever did, to be honest with you, when I, when I retired from pro basketball, my wife and I started joining country clubs for business reasons. Why? Because these were the NBA players are business. These were people who didn’t want to be average. These are entrepreneurs and business owners and business leaders. That fellowship was so powerful, so rich because they went forward, they went for that goal. They weren’t for their dreams, they didn’t play it safe, right? They wanted to live the American dream. And when I got to the country club, I fit. I didn’t have a experience, I didn’t have any work background. But the mindset that got me to sports with the same mindset, I found out the country club with business people. And now I live in a country club with nine billionaires.

The founder of Home Depot lives in my neighborhood. And so every morning I’m hanging out with extraordinary people and no disrespect to average people cause I used to be average, but I sharpen iron. And the biggest thing you can do as a student, if you’re a c student, go hang out with eight students, stopped hanging out with c students. Because if you hang out with the ace, do long enough before you know what, you have to start getting A’s yourself. And so when I got to the country club clay, I had no money coming in, but I stayed at the country club and before I knew what I began to walk like they walked. Before I knew what I began to talk like they talk. I began to think like they think and now I make what they make. But it had a lot to do with me exposing myself around extra ordinary people until I got comfortable around extraordinary people and I didn’t pull them back.

I wanted them to pull me up. I have a book coming out in July called swim. It’s about a shark and a sucker fish. You know this as well as anybody. Any great person has a mentor, okay? As Christians, Jesus is a shark and we’re the sucker fish, which means we connect to the shark and that’s shark takes us everywhere he goes and we go with them. And that’s what a shark and suck a fish does. And the ocean, a sucker fish waste for a shark to swing by. And when the sharks was by, it connects to the shark and the shark means the sucker fish. Because every time a shark makes a kill, the sucker Fisk is to eat the scraps. But most importantly, we’re parasites attack to shirk the sucker. Fish have a job to do. Their job is to keep the shark clean.

And so when I think about relationships, when I think about people is so important that we manage them effectively because just the way I sucker fifth can connect to a shark and it’s a good relationship. Yeah. A pair of sites trying to connect to you too. And the parasite has no good intention. A parasite would take all you got from you and never give back. So when I got into these environments in the country, clubs around me, successful people, my first goal was, hey, how can I help you? You know, I’m a pro athlete. You’re successful business guy. How can I help you and your business? And they begin to see value in how I can help their business. And before I knew it, we were able to build a brand, extra ordinary people. You need to get around them as much as you can, but you gotta understand.

You must be willing to transform your thinking because beginning of think like a extra ordinary people because the Bible says God says, my ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. So as a c student and a student’s ways and thoughts of better than your ways, so you need to figure out what’s the way of an a student, a student studies at night and a student doesn’t cram at the last minute and a student will do the assignments on time and turn them in on time. The a student cares, a c student may or may not do the homework. The C student May or may not either study for the test. The C students always trying to figure out extra credit and and, and, and, and figure out how to manipulate might even sheet, right? Right. The ace student to me is what we’re talking about and Jesus wants us all of the a students and that’s what we need to be.

My second question for you is you’re a very intentional guy and as your business, your career’s taken off post basket ball with your speaking and your mentoring and your coaching, all the things you’re doing now, the writing, how do you remain a proactive person? How do you organize the first four hours of a typical day and what time do you typically wake up?

You don’t wake up at about five five 30 I read my Bible first thing in the morning because if God’s going to be first, I can’t go work first. And then they got number one. I can’t even go work out and say God’s number one. I woke up in the morning, I read my Bible, I might read one chapter, two chapter three chapters. I don’t do it every single day, but that’s the normal regimen. When I’m having my perfect day and after I read my Bible, I go and work out the honor my body, which is a temple, right? And so to me, I spend time with God in the morning. I just want to honor my body. And then I come back and have breakfast and then I began to work. Okay. And then I’ll work from nine to five and at five o’clock I closed the door and the door’s closed.

And that’s when I become a husband. That’s when I become a dad. And that’s when I get balanced. Because here’s the reality. I want to make a lot of money. I want to be successful, but I want to be a great husband and I want to be a great dad too though. But there are just as important as anything that we do because going to work can’t be number one. You know the work. We do, Christa resources available to go home and lowering our family. Let’s tell all my business guys, you want to make decisions not based on what you can afford. You want to make decisions based on what’s good for your family. And that’s what resources can do. All resources do is allow us to express who we really are better. And that’s the way I look at money, the money that I make as a reward for being good.

But it allows me to take care of my family the best I can based on what my family needs and not what I can afford. Number two, I wanted to make more money in business than I did in sports. That was a dream I had when I was 17 I told my dad was 17 years old. I didn’t want to play pro sports, but when I’m done playing sports, I’m going to make more money in business and been in sports clay. In three years I doubled my MBA income in the marketplace. Why? Because that’s his dream I had at 17 so when you see a pro athlete struggling at 40 45 they dreamed about playing pro sports and they executed it, but they had no plan after sports.

You come across as a very well read one book or two books that you’d recommend to all of our listeners to read that maybe had the biggest impact on your life.

Well, that’s a book out called traction. You know, basically it’s the fundamentals of a business. The authorization gaping me titled Gino Wickman. Gino Wickman got it. Boom. It was a big book, a blink, um, was a very influential book for me. Uh, the five love languages, you know, it’s one of my favorite books. It really helped. It helped my marriage, you know, because when you do what I do, you’re always under stress. You know, pro sports is stressful. Okay. You know, being an entrepreneur is stressful. You know, having kids are stressful. And so when I got ahold of the five love languages, I mean that changed the game for me. It allowed me to really connect better with my wife and kids. Um, Christian book based on a really powerful concept of love and languages that people speak. So from a business standpoint, I would say traction, blink, who moved my cheese, obviously it was a great book. How to win friends and influence people. Um, and the five love languages is another great book for relationships. So I’m a reader, avid reader. Not only do I read books, I also write them, which is exciting.

Well, talk to us. My final question was talk to me. I talked to us about a book that you’ve written or a something that all of our listeners can go check out right now on Amazon because our listeners are, are book buyers. They’re not in tenders. Our listeners love to, um, interact with the content. They love to go out there and purchase those books. Tell it because Andrew right now is going to go on Amazon and he’s going to buy whatever book you tell us to buy right now is he’s going to buy it. And our listeners are too. So what, what books should we go out there and buy it?

Here’s what I recommend. Go to Amazon and pre order our book. The title is swim, swim, swim. It’s a one word title. The subtitle is how a shark is suck a fish and the parasite Tiki you networking, leadership and next level success. So go to Amazon and preorder. Swim. We’ve already gotten about 10,000 commitments for preorders. Um, Brian Buffini who has a big mentoring program, I can send you the link. I don’t know if you have the ability to send the link out. I just bought one. So 10,001 there go to Amazon and preorder, swim and we want to create a movement. We already got a software company that’s going to create a mentoring program using the concept of the book when it comes out in July. And mentorship and leadership is a lost art and we want to make sure we revive the power of leadership and mentorship.

You know, my father was a great leader that really inspired me to be the a student that I wasn’t and I’m on a mission, you know, he was a high school principal and so I’m on a mission we lost in the prostate cancer. And so my passion right now is kind of helping others transform and being a great leader and building mentoring programs inside of companies. I’m on the board of the boys and Girls Club, you know, I just want to take this little light of mine, let it shine and um, and just be an impact player everywhere I go. So swim on Amazon, um, and preorder it. That’d be my request.

Walter, I appreciate you so much. We just bought a copy there. So I know you’ve got at least one more copy and our listeners out there, they’re going to go buy that book right now. Swim, get it on Amazon. Walter Bond. I appreciate you so much. Listeners out there, if you liked what you heard today, if you go to Walter bond.com you can see sample clicks, uh, clips of Walter speaking. And I believe Walter, there’s a, a clip I saw, and I don’t know if you edited this, Walter, but it looks like you pump faked and, and, and faked Michael Jordan and then went around him to score.

Well, I scored on Michael Jordan and one of my promo video.

Oh, it was nice.

Yeah. What was that like when you played against Jordan? When I tried to kick his butt like everybody else? You know,

I didn’t,

I think that where I’m not qualified to play in the NBA and that kind of confidence and I want to help people develop, you know, if you’re going for a job interview, be confident, you know, if there’s a promotion at your company, be confident. Did you qualify? You know, you can’t do anything without confidence. You know I’ve been, God says we’re maintenance image and his likeness. So why would we be confident? You know, if I was going made like God, why wouldn’t I be extremely confident and that we shouldn’t be too confident? We shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with thinking highly of yourself and being confident.

Walter Bond. Thank you for being on the show, my friend. I appreciate you so much.

Thank you clay. God bless you.

Wow. Thrive nation. That’s a podcast you might want to listen to two or three times. I just, Walter Bond is such a source of inspiration and motivation and as I’m reflecting back upon the interview, I think it’s so wise that we always, always ask herself, what can we apply as a result of what we just learned? Because knowledge without application is what? It’s meaningless. Knowledge without application is meaningless. Remember Thomas Edison said that vision without execution, right? Vision without execution is hallucination. One more time. Sit with me. Now, vision without execution is hallucination. So I ask you this and what areas right now are, are, are you mailing it in and what area are you being c student, uh, figuratively speaking? In what area are you just, you know, um, just, you know, getting the minimum standards, maybe work on a team in Europe, your graphic designer, and you know, you could do better, but you’re just not bringing your a game.

Uh, maybe you’re a salesperson and, uh, you know, you like to party on Sundays, Saturdays and maybe Mondays are rough for you. You look bad because you have a good time on the weekends. Um, maybe you’re just the person who was always a little bit late for everything, you know, just, just, just a little bit late, just enough to kill your credibility. Just enough to always restart the conversation back at zero to reset the scoreboard back to zero. You’re somebody who, you know, 90% of the day you’re, you’re, you’re doing a great job, but then you mail it in, so you end up with a c average. You can email it it on, on that one test where you fail. The other tests were all A’s, but now you’re known as a c students because you have that, you’ve developed that habit, you’ve allowed that habit of mediocrity to set in and what areas are you truly mailing it in my friend, you have to limit the amount of things that you say yes to.

So if you can have laser focus to be excellent in the areas that you want to say yes tubes. As an example, maybe you’re volunteering on a, on a soccer team and you’re also volunteering at church and you’re also volunteering at some community event thing. And maybe you’re also a volunteering with the home owner’s association and you also are in a fantasy football league and you, you also have signed up for this and that and now you’re being pulled in so many directions that you can’t laser focus on anything. And now the only thing you’re known for is Mr has an excuse. Mrs has an excuse. So I ask you again, in what areas of your life are you mailing it in and in what areas of your life do you need to start saying, no. My name is Clay Clark. I encourage you have to learn to say no. To grow, you have to become a person of excellence to achieve massive success. We’d like to end each and every show with a boom because around here, boom stands for that big, overwhelming optimistic momentum that you just heard Walter Bond present. So here we go. Three, two, one. Boom.

You may not feel like you’re living to your highest potential because you’re stuck in a Rut with your head down. Just trying to survive when people are trying to get out of a Rut. The first impulse is to often dream of a new destination, a new job, a new location, and maybe even a new career. Most people think unlocking ones highest potential requires a new vision or a new destination, and many books actually encourage that type of thinking. However, Carly Fiorina believes that this is where most of us get off track. It’s not a destination, it’s a path. And being the type of person who will take that path. You may know Carly Fiorina as the first female CEO of a fortune 50 company, but you may not know that she started out as a secretary and rose to success one step at a time by solving the problems in front of her and empowering those around her per new book. Find your way will help you choose your own path to unleashed your highest potential. Start Your journey today. Please visit. Find your way. Thrive time.com it’s find your way, thrive time.com or purchase a copy of. Find your way wherever books are sold.


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