Clay: I want to share this little anecdote with the business coach thrivers because you’ve mentioned in search of excellence. It is, it is bizarre how as we’ve interviewed thrivers all across the country how you hear countless of them, these mentors mention they say … these people who have built million dollar businesses, these success stories, you say “When was your moment, when was your aha moment, when did you decide that you would become the head of this company or the CEO or the guy who would start this mega-business?” They all point back to a business coach book usually or a specific seminar. But, it was a learning opportunity that like exponentially increased their earning opportunity. I just love that that’s a book that in 1984 got you going. Now, Tim, I want to read this quote to you. Gary Keller, again a best-selling author, co-founder of Keller-Williams Realty. The reason why I love Gary Keller is that he is a phenomenal author, but he’s a phenomenal real-estate guru and he’s a phenomenal business person and he says this. He says, “A college professor once told me, Gary, you’re smart but people have lived before you. You’re not the first person to dream big. So, you’d be wise to study what others have learned first and then build your actions on the backs of their lessons.”
He was so right and he was talking to you too. Tim, when you were growing tax and accounting software from 2 people to 400 people, how did you experience success as a result of maybe studying other companies or studying other people? How did you guys not get stuck? Because you could have been stuck where it was just 2 people.
Tim: Oh yeah.
Clay: How did you study other companies and kind of apply it to your own business there?
Tim: I remember when business coach Fast Company came out.
Tim: We had already been going as a company but just reading, I would read INC magazine. So, I would be watching other people, what they did, and how they attacked their problems. I’m surrounding myself with people who are overcoming odds and building big. So, I was just like, that’s what I surrounded myself with so that’s what my expectations began to just come in line with that. I would do this, Clay. I would get my top guys. I would get into a book or there’s this thing by Hasslebean or by the Peter Jucker association, we’d get these executive briefings there and I would gather my team around and we will have had to have read this thing. We come in and we talk about it. Then we say, “Well, how are we going to apply that right now to this company?”
Tim: So, reading on my own and also getting a group where I’m reading together with my people that I want to pour into. Then, our last question is, “What are we going to do about this knowledge right now in our company?”
Clay: I will say this. Old school, this is like 2001, but I interned for Tim. We did not know each other. I remember just coming up there on the floor and there was probably close to 400 employees at the time. I remember looking around and there was all these people and all these computers and all these phones, all this office space. One of the things that really deeply impacted me was there was a professionalism, there was an organization, there was a systematic approach to what you were doing. The training was over the top. It was very systematic. It was very good. We had a lot of Subway that we got for free if we … we had a lot of pizza that we got for free. I would try and take that home.
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Clay: … as an intern there. But, one of the things that I would say, I just remember that it was such a systematic … it was almost like the death star of accounting software. It was just a very … I mean it was awesome, very efficient but you don’t get to that level of success without studying these companies with like what you were doing.
Clay: So, you literally got the teams together and would deep-dive into these reports?
Tim: We’d deep-dive and then people who went before us that were a lot smarter than us, we read what they did right, what they did wrong, their success and then we’d dive into it, okay, well what’s happened behind the scene? I would hire really smart people.
Tim: They were obsessed with their own opinion.
Tim: They were thinkers and they would get in and begin to think about that and we’d really dive down and say well what problem did they have? What were they feeling on the inside? We’re coaching each other. It was just an amazing environment where we would coach each other and challenge each other on this. We created our own language really that … based on what we learned in this, so.
Clay: Was it sort of like a Clingon dialect? Was it kind of …
Tim: Yeah. You … were you there long enough to be introduced that …?
Clay: That might of been a new guy, sort of hazing that they were doing.