Clay: My name is Clay Clark, and I’m the CEO of thrive15.com and a business coach. Today we are joined with Clifton Taulbert, the bestselling author. This guy’s had his life made into a movie. He grew up basically living in the segregated South. He grew up living in a time when he couldn’t even go into a bank, and as he grew older he actually he owned a bank.
He’s going to be teaching us today about the science of personal achievement. From experience as a business coach I know you can actually decide to achieve and become successful simply by implementing best practices and proven strategies into your own life and business. Remember, at thrive15.com we all believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. As you’re watching today’s episode, make sure to take the time to ask yourself what do you need to do to specifically apply these principles in your own life and business. If not, today’s episode may just be more meaningless than a freezer in Antarctica.
Brother Clifton, it is so wonderful to have you here today.
Clifton: Thank you, sir. Always good to be here.
Clay: Before we dive into it, this business coach wants to give just a little anecdotal story. You’re a bestselling author, you’re a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author. You helped to introduce the StairMaster into the marketplace. You’ve been owner of a bank. You’ve served on countless boards. You’ve addressed Harvard, the Supreme Court. You have a career, a life that should have been turned into a movie, and then it was turned into a movie.
You’ve had all this happen, and I remember as a young man getting a chance to interact with you for the first time, and I had so many questions. Today what we’re going to do is we’re going to dive into your science of personal achievement and your philosophies and what your thoughts are on certain success principals.
I want to start off by asking you this. In your mind, what does it mean for someone to personally achieve or to be successful? Everyone wants to be successful, but what does it mean in your mind to be successful?
Clifton: When a person becomes successful, they’re no longer a bystander. A bystander is someone who stands by the side of the road and watches the world pass by. To be successful is to be a participant in life.
Clay: I feel like you have felt for a long time that when you watch TV, I know you don’t watch a lot of TV, but when you do watch TV, or when people you know watch TV and tell you about what they saw, you’re thinking, “I should be a part of that conversation”, or, “My book is good enough to get on that show”, or, “My product is good enough to get in that store.” You really believe that you can participate in that conversation. On Thrive15.com, one of the best sales training programs, you can learn about getting your products in stores.
Clifton: Most definitely. You nailed it. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Being a participant, bringing your gifts and bringing your skills. That again requires a mindset to recognize that what you have to bring is of great value. Value is something that, it is not something that starts here and it just stays there. It continues to grow and it continues to expand. Once you are no longer a bystander, you’re now on that road with others, you’re now making a meaningful contribution not only to your life but to the lives of others as well.
Clay: I’ve heard it said by one successful entrepreneur, he told me, he says, “It’s about either watching TV or being the person on TV.” It really is … Does that confidence to be successful or to join in that conversation, where do you get that from? Please tell the listeners and the business coach.
Clifton: I think it comes from a number of different places. I think it comes from the people you associate with. I think it comes from the books that you read. I think it comes from the dreams that you have inside of you. I think all of these types of things come together to leave you with the idea that you matter. Because if a person does not think he or she matters, then they’re not going to be that apt to want to participate and to really get out there and get in the mainstream. They’d rather hold back, because, “I’m not really one of them, I can’t do that.” Once you break out of that, then all of a sudden, you say, “Wait a minute.” Like you said, “I don’t just have to watch television, why not have me being watched?”
Clay: Let me ask you this. You have all these success books that say, “What you have to do, step one, you write down all your goals.” Do you right down your goals, do you ever write down where you want to be a year from now, or two years from now, or any goals? Do you do that to kind of … When you say “dream”, do you physically write down your goals?
Clifton: I most certainly do. Let me just show you something for a second. One [inaudible 00:04:53] that’s really important? Don’t be afraid to write this word down. It’s OK to say, “My dreams.” “My dreams.” Because people tend to think that dreams belong to other people, but, “My dreams”, and to be able to write your dreams down and to look at taking it out of your thinking now, putting it on paper, now you’re placing yourself in the most vulnerable position because once you right it down, you now got to think, “What am I going to do with it?”
Clay: As a leading business coach, I’ve heard it called dreamcatching, or turning your thoughts into things, but it becomes real once you put a paper and pen to it?
Clifton: Once you put a paper and a pen to it, all of a sudden, “OK, my dreams, what is it? OK, writer.” Clay, you know when I first decided to be a writer?
Clifton: I was probably not even 18 years old. I was in the military, at the last end of the Vietnam War, and all of a sudden I made this decision, “I’m going to be a writer.” All my buddies around me were saying, “Well, Clifton, you know, we’re in a war. You know, war, guns, death? And you’re talking about being a writer?” But that was one of my dreams, and I wrote that down. Because I wrote it down, looked at it, “Clifton, writer”, it became much easier for me to pick up a yellow pad and to start writing.
Clay: You wrote it down, you defined that’s what you wanted to do.