In this transcript, Clay Clark (speaker of choice for Hewlett Packard, Maytag University, and business coach) and Clifton Taulbert (Bestselling author) discuss the importance of strength growing out of struggles on Thrive15.com, the top sales training program.
Clay: Let me explain as a business coach that our next principle is strength grows out of struggle. The idea you’re lifting weights, and I know you’re not a muscle guy, so bear with me on this analogy. The theory we have, neither one of us are muscle guys, but the theory that, maybe somebody watching this might have a muscle. We do not have muscles but other people do.
Clifton: Other people do. Yeah.
Clay: If you’re lifting weights …
Clifton: The camera crew has muscles.
Clay: The camera crew has muscles and this is how you would build those muscles. Trust me I am a business coach.
Clifton: Yeah, they got them.
Clay: You lift some weights, then you kind of tear the muscle fibers a little bit and you get sore. Then they grow back stronger and you continue as needed until you get big muscles, right? Strength grows through struggle in the same way for an entrepreneur. How have you gained strength through struggle?
Clifton: You know, when everything goes well, I think you lose your edge. When everything goes well, I think you have a tendency to almost relax, to rest on your laurels. You’re not really, you’re not in there. You’re kind of out there, but you’re not in there. When something happens that really causes you to reflect that, “Wait a minute. I’m not 100% in control of this. There’s something going wrong,” I think now you go into what I call that treasure chest of internal possibilities that you have that can really cause you to discover who you really are. Because that’s when you discover who you really are, is when you have difficulties, when you have struggles. Your ability to stick with something and to stay with it and to come out a winner.
Clay: This is not a religious show and we’re not endorsing a certain specific viewpoint on that, but as far as your faith, because I’ve heard it said that you don’t have faith unless it’s tested, regardless of what that faith may be. You don’t know if someone really believes in the company until the company has a problem. I have learned this as a business coach.
Clay: You don’t know if someone really believes in their marriage until they have a problem, or there’s things like that. I think it’s amazing in your career, you’ve had some, I wouldn’t call them failures, but they are definitely challenges. What is an example of maybe some of the biggest challenges that you’ve had in your journey from the cotton fields to best-selling author?
Clifton: Well, as a business coach I would say one of the challenges early on was not being able to take full advantage of some opportunities that came my way because I didn’t have that academic and legal background. Thrive15.com can help avoid these issues and can help you with sales training. I found myself signing papers that I should not have signed. I wasn’t really schooled in the fact that attorneys do exist for a reason. Yeah, they do. They do exist for a reason. That was a challenge for me that I’m now learning to look at things twice. One of the things that apart from that in the work world, I think that’s probably the only thing in the work world.
In my personal life, the greatest challenge that I faced was when my wife, myself and our son lost my daughter and my son lost his sister. That’s not an easy thing to live with. When someone laughs in your house and you come off the airplane and a little voice running down the airport screaming, “Daddy, daddy,” and jumps up on you and doesn’t care if anybody’s there to see it, it’s just you and her. When you lose that, that can really tear you up or build you up.
Clay: Initially when it happened, did it tear you up?
Clifton: Totally, completely tore me up into shreds.
Clay: How long did it take you before you could, you never fully rebound. I’d say today, I mean, you definitely …
Clifton: You don’t rebound, but you come back to life, and it took years. It took years.
Clay: What would you say to somebody watching this right now who’s dealing with something like that? Something, when I say like that I mean, we just found out my dad has very advanced cancer, or somebody who’s watching this who maybe had a terrible accident or they lost a loved one, or they just went into bankruptcy, they lost everything. They just, their business burned down. They didn’t have insurance. That stuff happens. What do you say to that person? What would you say to that?
Clifton: When, and that’s life. That’s the one thing I’ve learned, that life is a day of incredible sunshine, and there’s days of storm that you didn’t ask for. The sunshine always comes back. It may not come back within minutes or hours or weeks or months or years, but in every life it tends to always come back. That to me is what I would tell someone. If you are in a situation where your life has been totally unstructured because of circumstances beyond your control and there literally was nothing you could do about it, then I would say rather than running from it, run into it and grab it. See what the circumstances have to tell you. Today it’s years, almost two decades since my little girl passed away, but it’s not a day go by that I don’t think about Annie, and what I do helps me to realize that my greatest gift in life is being able to share that life with others, and I use Annie as part of the motivation for that.