Business Coach | The Shoe Dog | The Phil Knight and Nike Story

Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Business Coach 165

During this episode of the Thrive Time Business Podcast, the former U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Clay Clark and America’s #1 business coach and Tycoon Dr. Z are at it again. In this installment, they bring Coach Calvert and Arthur Greeno aboard to help tell you the story of Phil Knight and the Nike Story. This is an episode you do not want to miss.

Listen As The Business Coach Tells The Phil Knight Story : Podcast Transcript

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Stinger: And now podcasting from the center of the universe in the world headquarters. Let’s go. Presenting the world’s only business school without the BS. With optometrist and entrepreneur, Doctor Robert Zoellner and the first world business administration entrepreneur of the year in your ear Clay Clark. It’s The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170. Three, two, one, boom.

Clay: Green Country, Oklahoma is what is going on? Welcome to The Thrive Time Show this is your audio dojo of mojo, for sure. My name is Clay Clark, I’m the former SBA entrepreneur of the year and I am a business coach. I am the father of five human kids. Five human kids, we home school them all, it’s crazy. And, yet, my whole passion, my whole deal, my whole game is I remember growing up where I didn’t have the financial resources that I wanted to do the things I wanted to do.

And so I was crazy enough to start a business, I started a business, it did very well. Started another business, it did very well. Another business, it did very well. All of a sudden people started calling me going, “Can we meet for lunch?”, “Can we meet for coffee?”, “Could you teach me how to start and grow a business?”, and I started doing that and that became my consulting company called Make Your Life Epic.

But you know the guy who taught me a lot about what I do today? The guy, who I studied in almost a criminal kind of way, the guy that I literally, I mean it was almost stalker-ish. I would go into his business and sit there and just troll out. Some of you ladies listening right now, you know what it means to have someone troll you? Where you’re at Sprouts and you’re a single lady-

Dr. Z: [laughs]

Clay: – and there’s some dude who’s eyeing you all the time? And you’re like, “That’s so weird.” And you look at him and he looks away like he wasn’t looking at you? That’s what I was doing. I was studying this guy. This guy, he is a genius, he’s a guru, he’s a brilliant man. And I will say this, my father recently passed away, and I will say this, “He is my favorite living adult man”. It is Doctor Robert Zoellner. I mean it. You are my living adult man. You are absolutely a guru, and sir, I am blessed to have you on the show as the co-host. I’m honored to be here, thank you for being here.

Dr. Z: The only part of that story I can definitely confirm, all the accolades about me, they humble me. I can’t confirm those, but I can confirm that you were a really big creeper-


Dr. Z: – back in the day. And not only that, it was– somebody’s asked me they’d go, “How has he, tell me about him back in the day?” I was like, “Oh, you have no idea.” I mean now he has a suit, he’s buttoned up, he’s robotic, he’s like Claytron. He’s like a terminator for business. He’s like a business-nator, but back then, he was like an — I don’t know if you guys remember the old rapper, Eminem, who was just kind of a– he’s still around but I mean back in the day he’s got– he was coming in the business head as you know clothes too big and, looped earrings, a little arrogant. He was kind of an attitude. He’s one of those guys that like, you weren’t sure if he was going to throw a punch or say-

Clay: I used to even talk differently.

Dr. Z: Oh yes. You were so, oh my God, I cannot believe the transformation that’s happened with you over the years. Because that was what, back in probably-

Clay: It was ’99

Dr. Z: – ’99, I was going to say 2000, but yes.

Clay: At ’99, my whole deal was like, I wanted you to know that if you messed with me, you stepped on my shoes, it’s going down.

Dr. Z: Yes I just-

Clay: That was my whole deal.

Dr. Z: Yes I cannot, I’d tell you what, if Clay Clark can go from that dude to this dude-

Clay: From an idiot.

Dr. Z: – everybody listening out there – you have a chance. You have a chance, trust me. Because, I mean, I remember we came in the office and of course his wife is working for me at the time, Vanessa. Sweet lady, just like an all American, like apple pie and Vanessa are like the same thing. He would come in and pick her up they only had one car. He on his daylight come pick her up.

Clay: A Mazda MPV, with my– I put a sub-woofer in there [making noise]


Dr. Z: You can hear him pull up when he came up and we’d be sitting around all of us we’re going, “Who is that?”

Clay: [making noise]

Dr. Z: “Who is that dude?” We’re like, “I think that’s Vanessa’s husband.” We were going, “No way.”

Clay: Yes, true.

Dr. Z: That sweet, little pretty lady there that’s a little cheerleader at ORU. That’s her dude?

Clay: Do you know why? The thing with my wife is, she — we watch through the 8 Mile together with that story about Eminem.

Dr. Z: I don’t know.

Clay: My wife loves to help people and she thought she could fix me.

Dr. Z: She did a tremendous [crosstalk] job.

Clay: Thankfully she did.

Dr. Z: Well done Vanessa, well done. Because I’d tell you what, the transformation is incredible. I don’t know a young man– how old are you know, 35, 36?

Clay: 36 baby.

Dr. Z: 36, you’re 36. Mid-30’s who’s done more with his life. He gets more done in a day than Clay Clark does. He’s been now business coaching for years. He’s so successful at it. He has a waiting list of people wanting a business coach and that’s why when you came to me a couple of years ago and you said, “Hey bro–” You didn’t say “Bro–” but you said, “Hey Z, there’s only so many hours in a day, why is it we can scale this and do this on line business coach on line?

Clay: You know the number one highlight of my life, business-

Dr. Z: What was it? Tell me.

Clay: My personal life was when I proposed to my wife in Minnesota, in Cokato, Minnesota and she said, “Yes.” That’s my personal life.

Dr. Z: Were you ice fishing or–? What were you doing up in there?

Clay: In business life– I was up there with Bjorn and Rauschendorfer, we were in the House Ice House together and I was like “Oh, how you doing?” “To get married to Vanessa.” But no, seriously, when I got the chance to present at Cedar Ridge Country Club, Mr. Sean Copeland set it up. When you agreed to invest in, it was the highlight of my professional career.

Dr. Z: Wow, that’s very cool because you needed shark tank me a few times before in some kind of crazy things. You like, [noise]

Clay: “It’s a Pozi Scam. You should get it early.”


Dr. Z: You shark tanked me a few times and I would be honest, I’m not even be candor with you and say “That’s not for me. Good luck with that, wish you well and go get them, tiger. Go get them, Eminem wannabe; rapper, DJ–“

Clay: In each business that we did I’m just being blunt about it. Each business that I’d talked to you about, I mean they all ended up doing well but they weren’t worth your time because you’d already built scalable model, business models. When you start, if you’re somebody like yourself who has more money than time, what you happen to do is you want to invest in something that has the ability to scale and could be a worldwide, or a nationwide, or a statewide something. And it wasn’t you’re a bad guy, you’re just kind of like, “I don’t know about what, you know team up and do a partner in our company that could make a million bucks a year. I don’t know if that’s worth my time right now.”

Dr. Z: That’s the thing about it is out there. But people, once you get successful, that success is built on it and the beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur, once you have some success, then the next business you open doesn’t have to have that immediate success. You can kind of invest in it, let it grow and marinate, and then explode on the back end of it. So, when you first open a business it’s so stressful because it’s kind of like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to pay all the business bills-“

Clay: That’s terrible.

Dr. Z: “-all my personal bills, it’s going to fund everything.”

Clay: That’s crazy.

Dr. Z: [laughs] That’s why sometimes it’s so stressful but then once you get that going, like “I can open this business and I don’t have to make a car payment out of it, I don’t have to make a house payment out of it.” Then you can really grow and that’s why sometimes people say, “How did you go from optometry to an auto auction? How do you go from optometry to a Sleeps Center? How did you do those things?” There’s a little bit of a learning curve in there but the beautiful thing about it was, is that they didn’t have to provide all the chili from day one.

Clay: Now thrivers, we’re talking today about a concept. We’re teaching you today specifically about how Phil Knight, who’s Phil Knight? We’re teaching how Phil Knight, he calls himself the Shoe Dog. How Phil Knight started Nike and grew Nike to become the world’s most successful shoe and apparel company.

Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: And on the show today, we have the perfect guest. It’s coach Calbert, this guy mentors basketball players. He’s helped multiple players play in the National Basketball Association. He’s literally worked with a middle school kid, a high school kid. He’s coached them and helped them improve their skills to the level that they were able to play at the professional level. Nearly a hundred people who played at the division one level, he’s coached them.

If you have a kid who’s pretty good at basketball but they want to get more playing time, coach Calbert is your man. Coach Calbert how are you doing, my friend?

Coach Calbert: I’m doing really good, I’m really ready for Christmas though.

Clay: Tell us what you have going on right now for Christmas, you’ve got an unbelievable thing going on at

Coach Calbert: We have our favorite camp of the year because it’s right after Christmas, parents love it because they can get them out of the house and the kids just go crazy. Full action, scream, yell and then they come home where they’re little more tired.

Clay: Now, here’s the deal. If you’re looking for a great diversion for your kids this holiday season, and I know you are. You want to go to sign them up for Christmas basketball camp and now we get in to the life of Mr. Phil Knight. So Phil Knight, currently is the world’s 15th richest person, worth 28.1 Billion. Age 17 okay, check it out. Age 17, he attends Oregon University. Fun fact, he ran track at the University of Oregon and he graduated in 1959 with a degree in Journalism.

So think about where were you at age 17? He was attending the University of Oregon. So he graduates. He’s age 22. He serves active duty in the army. Okay, he serves for one year, active duty. He goes on to get his MBA at Stanford, but he’d see this is when the entrepreneurial bug bit him. By the way Z, 57% of the people listening right now, according to Forbes, 57% of Americans want to start a business. Is that shocking to you?

Dr. Z: No it’s not shocking at all, in fact I would think that might even be higher if people were being honest because most people, specially from this country love the independence. They love to do their own thing. They see all the capitalism. They see people come over here. And people move to this country for that opportunity. They go “I can be, oh my gosh, there’s no class system. There’s no I have to be pitch and holding this or this or this.” You can actually do and create whatever it is you want to do.

Clay: He’s 24.

Dr. Z: He’s 24.

Clay: Now, Coach Calbert, when did you realize that you wanted to be self employed? You played Basketball at OkU; Oklahoma University. When did you decide “Hey, I want to start my own business.”?

Coach Calbert: When I was teaching school, I decided I would never do that for long period. Not that I don’t admire teachers; they’re great. I just didn’t have the patience to sit behind a desk for hours.

Clay: Was it before or after you took a stapler and stapled your own head?

Coach Calbert: At least everyday after school, just everyday.

Clay: [laughs] You’re like “Well, I just suck at–” Here’s the deal. Phil’s epiphany, he sit in a classroom, 1962. This is what he says, “That class wasn’t uh-huh moment.” Shalin Burger, that’s his professor, defined the type of person who is an entrepreneur. I realized, he was talking to me. I remember after saying to myself. This is really what I planned, what I would like to do. This is Phil Knight. He’s saying, “This is really what I like to–” He says his professor, Frank Shalin Burger teaching him at Stanford. He’s teaching about what an entrepreneur is like. He goes “This is me.” He wrote a paper. He had to write a business plan as part of the class project. His paper was called “Can Japanese sports shoes do to German sports shoes what Japanese camera did to German Cameras?” Essentially, it was the premise to his foray into selling shoes. He ended up– he graduates with the Master’s Degree in Business Administration from school in 1962. But this is a notable quote, this is from Phil, he says “So that morning in 1962 I told myself, Let everyone else call your idea crazy. Just keep going; don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there. Don’t give much thought to where there is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” So here’s the deal, age 24, he gets on the phone, Z. He makes a cold call to Kobe Japan. Kobe Japan, he calls the guy whose name I cannot pronounce but he calls the guy. Onitsuka, he calls this guy and he coldcalls the guy and he says “Hey, here’s the deal. I would like the distribution rights for the Western United States.” Real quick, he has traveled to Japan. He’s heard they make shoes in Japan. He coldcalls the guy and says “I would like the distribution rights for Tiger Shoes to be– the Western half United States. I want to be the guy–“

Dr. Z: I want to be your dude.

Clay: And Mr. Onitsuka is like “Well you probably the only first– you probably the only guys who’s called me.” He’s probably was thinking in enter dialogue. “You’re the first guy that called me, so okay.” So he goes ahead and says “Yes.” Age 26; this is 2 years from the time he had the idea. He teams up with Bill Bowerman. Z, Bill Bowerman was like what you are to me. Bill Bowerman was his track coach.

Dr. Z: Run, just run, Clay, run. Just– Oh wait. No. I’m–

Clay: When he partnered with Phil he was 53, and you’re 52.

Dr. Z: I’m 52. Yes. That’s a fact.

Clay: Phil Knight was 26 and his track coach was 53 and he goes “Okay, I’ll team up.” Now that I’ve done a lot of research on this but I want to read it to you. So that each put in $500. $500 into the project. Z, why would they put an equal money?

Dr. Z: To skin in the game. That’s how you do it. You have a young man come up with an idea. You’re kind of going “I’m not going to fund all this. I’m going to make sure you’re serious about this.” In order to prove your seriousness and to prove that you are a dude I wanted to business with. Then you got to put a little skin in the game. That’s what’s called a little skin in the game.

Clay: January 25th, 1964, they started a company called Blue ribbon Sports together.

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Clay: They did it with a handshake. They didn’t have a lawyer. They didn’t have a contract. They shook hands. They put money in. And A, when we come back, we’re going to talk about age 27 now. Three years after having a big epiphany. What’s going on in the mind of Phil Knight; the founder of Nike. Stay tuned.

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Stinger: Live, local, now, you’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: Thrive nation, welcome back to your inspiration station. We are inside the box that rocks. My name is Clay Clark and I’m here with Dr. Robert Zoellner. I’m going to tell you what? I’m going to tell you one thing that I know, Z. This moment in time is sponsored by Oklahoma Joes; the number one lunch destination of really humanity, Dr. Z.

Dr. Z: It should be. I’ll tell you what. You’re just on lunch break. You just got in your car. You kicked on your radio and you’re thinking “Where do I go to eat lunch because my belly is so hungry. I’m hungry.”

Clay: “Hungry, my belly is empty.”

Dr. Z: Oh come at Joe’s if you’re in Broken Arrow or by Broken Arrow which is a suburb of Tulsa for those of you listening around the world on Thrive Time Show. Just drive over there by the Big Bask Pro Shop, Oklahoma Joe’s and I would personally recommend–” [noise]

Clay: Personal recommendation from my doctor.

Dr. Z: The burned and the bag beans or if you’re in Tulsa, South Tulsa, you go to 61st in Sheridan and you can find Oklahoma Joe’s there. Just walk on in and get all that great barbie cue. If you’re downtown for lunch, because now we’re at lunch we used to be over dinner time. Now we’re over lunch time. You can go there next to the Cain’s Ball Room. The iconic Cain’s Ballroom and yes that’s the same Cain’s Ballroom you’ve heard about for years, if you’re not in Tulsa. But 11 to 2; their lunch time, you go and get some Oklahoma Joe’s.

Clay: Will you write a prescription? If I’ve got a fever and the only cure is more Oklahoma Joe’s. Could you, as a doctor, write a prescription for Oklahoma Joe’s.

Dr. Z: I’m going to call it in. I’m going to call it in right now.

Clay: Man, will you write your name in a way that I can’t read it?

Dr. Z: Pharmacist, pharmacist.

Clay: Why you– Why the doctors do that? When you write a prescription, why do you go [scratch noise] why don’t you just write rando– why do you guy– can’t you guys write your name? What’s the deal with doctors?

Dr. Z: Because most of us, we don’t know how to read or write so. There’s a lot of– a long weekend in Puerto Rico–

Clay: At what point did you decide to quit you signing your name in a way that was legible?

Dr. Z: No. Listen, people see my hand I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s not going to be an issue to read that?” Because I’m purposeful in that, because if I’m going to write–

Clay: What’s with your colleagues man?

Dr. Z: I don’t know. You have to ask them. I don’t know–

Clay: I digress–

Dr. Z: You do a lot of writing so it gets a little–

Clay: We have a very special guest on the show today. It’s true this guys is a doctor of basketball.

Dr. Z: Oh he is. I know.

Clay: He’s coach Calbert. He has built score basketball to be, and I repeat this without reservation this is just facts. He has the most successful basketball training and coaching facility for kids. They teach kids the game of basketball but they also teach him how to win the game of life. They mentor kids. They’ve got an unbelievable Christmas basketball camp. Coach, tell us about it.

Coach Calbert: Actually, the mentoring part is the most important to us. During the camp we do all kinds of mentoring stuff. We’re talking about how to hear– how to handle failure? How to motivate yourself? What your workout schedule should look like? How to train your own self? What are your goals and aspirations that you want to do? So it fits along line of what we’re talking about today.

Clay: If someone goes to, how much is the basketball camp? How much is the cost? Go and shoot me straight. How much does it cost? Don’t go smoke and mirrors man.

Coach Calbert: $99, not even as much as a pair of Nike shoes cost, right now.


Clay: Oh and today we’re talking about Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. We’re talking about, he’s age 24. Okay, Check it out. He’s in college at Stanford. He has the idea. Oh my gosh, I want to start a business. He’s 26. He teams up with a strat coach who’s 53. They each put in $500 a piece, and by the way, Bowerman is the one– I’ll go get this confused. Bowerman, not Phil Knight, was the one who is famous for ruining his wife’s waffle iron in his attempt to make waffle iron patterns on the bottom of shoes make them work better for– he literally poured rubber into a waffle iron in attempt to staple it to the bottom of a shoe to improve the performance of an athletic shoe. That’s Bowerman who did that. So now aged 26, they put in $500 a piece, and here we go. Z, it takes them a year. Age 27, an entire year before they get their first prototype on the market. Z, that’s so discouraging for people who go “A year–”

Dr. Z: The reason why we bring like Coach on and the reason we talk about the Phil Knight story and the reason why we look at these things is because it inspires. It’s a testimony of people. Because a lot of times you just going to look at Nike and go “Oh my god, I just made a tennis shoe.” And now he’s 15th wealthiest guy in the world. It must have been easy.”

Clay: It’s so easy.

Dr. Z: “Oh my gosh, why can’t I came up with that tennis shoe? I have great idea for tennis shoe.” [crosstalk] But would you really break it down? And you really look at all the moves they did. There’s a lot of learning, mentoring, and coaching moments from it, and inspiration you get from it. Some of it is actually from failures, that successful people have had.

Clay: Check it out, he had another job during the entire time. He’s aged 24, he has the idea, Z.

Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: He’s 24, he has the idea. It’s 27 till he has his first prototype, and he has another job.

Dr.Z: A job?

Clay: Did you have another job when you started your Doctor Robert Zoellner and Associates? Did you have another job? Did you have another job over at Doctor Robert Zoellner and Associates? Did you have a job?

Dr. Z: Yes, I did. I was working at other offices when I was starting it because I wasn’t that busy. So we had other jobs, that’s kind of the move you did.

Clay: Sorry, we have a call in here from Bernie Sanders, he– “Dr. Z-

Dr. Z: No, no, no.

Clay: -why you’re working more than 36 hours a week because I tell you what, it’s unethical for somebody to work more than 36 hours a week.” That’s what I think. I’m just telling you “I was over on The Rush Limbaugh Show and I hopped over here to The Thrive Time Show. Which I’ve heard is a very political show.”

Dr. Z: No, it’s not.

Clay: Is it ethical? You work more than 36 hours a week.

Dr. Z: Mr. Sanders, we don’t talk about politics on this show.

Clay: I’ll go back to Rush Limbaugh, I bet.

Dr. Z: We don’t talk about home and gardening. We don’t talk about cooking. We don’t talk, “I do like–“, we do talk about some restaurants. Especially, Oklahoma Joe’s.

Clay: Do you talk about weight lifting?

Dr. Z: We don’t talk about weight lifting, but we’ve got a very strong man. He’s one of our producers right now, Sam. He can lift.

Clay: “He can pump it up. He can do lift over 350 pounds over his shoulders.”

Dr. Z: Building over his head, but the thing about it is– here’s what we’re dedicated to do. We’re dedicated to give you practical, encouraging business tips on how to start and grow your business because that’s our heart and that’s our passion. That’s what we do.

Clay: Age 24, is when he wanted more. He was working over there at Price Waterhouse in Cooper’s, as an accountant, age 24. Now Z, I’m not super smart, but he’s 31 when he gets into his green Plymouth Valiant. Those of you who don’t even know what it looks like, he’s in this green– Google that mess, by the way, Google it. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a green Plymouth Valiant. He gets in the car and he travels in his car around the Pacific Northwest, and he finally sells shoes from age 24, now Z, he’s 31. How long was that?

Dr. Z: I’m just using math– seven years.

Clay: Seven years?

Dr. Z: Yes

Clay: Yes, this show sucks. This isn’t a good show. It took him seven years to sell something?

Dr. Z: Yes, exactly. You think about it is, is that’s encouraging because you may say to yourself, “Well, it didn’t happen overnight, It’s not happening right now, hang in there.”

Clay: He started his business with $500, and not that I did my research, but according to the inflation calculator which is available for you the listener at Write that down,, that’s inflation calculator. If you don’t know what inflation is, we’ll get into that later, but it’s the gradual devaluation of our money because the government spends more than they have. Going back to Rush Limbaugh to learn more about the points. He spent $500 that in today’s money would be worth $3892. So if you’re listening right now, and you, by hook or crook, can come up with $3,892.79, you too could start Nike.

Dr. Z: Here’s the thing about it is that he got a guy. He found a dude who put in the same amount. So, they really had almost 8k.

Clay: Dude, and check it out, he’s at 24, he’s 33 now. He’s 33 and finally, he reaches out and he says his strategy was to import sneakers called the Onitsuka Tigers and to sell them at a higher price point. This is nine years later before he finally begins to create a viable business strategy. Phil Knight’s quote, he says, “Like it or not, life is a game.” That’s how he responds to the criticism of, why did it take you nine years before you finally figured out a viable business plan? Thrivers, if you’re listening right now, and it’s taken you nine years to pull a successful company, you’re in good company. We’re talking about the founder of Nike. It took that homie nine years to figure it out. Stay tuned.

[background music]

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Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: Alright, Thrive nation, welcome back to your inspiration station. If you’ve ever wanted to start or grow a business, you are in for an audio treat today because I’m telling you what, some of you are listening right now, and you’re good at volleyball. Some of you are listening right now, and you’re good at baseball. Some of you are listening right now, and you’re good at playing cards. Some of you are listening, and you’re good at making cakes. You’re good at whatever you’re good at. My spritual gift is– my super power is building successful companies and being a business coach. It’s what I do. It’s in my DNA. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it’s what I do, and I’m telling you what, the guy next to me has built successful companies in multiple industries. We’re talking about optometry. He’s been involved in a bank. He’s been involved in a horse breeding facility. He’s been involved in a sleep center. He’s been involved in a durable medical company. What is a durable medical — auto auction?

Dr. Z: I don’t even know auto auction. It’s crazy but you know what? Hello thrivers and welcome to the show over your lunchtime. We’re glad that you’re sharing a couple of hours with us and today we’re going to give you some practical tips because we’re deep diving into a gentleman who did it. He did it with excellence but his story, you may not know. It’s Phil Knight, he’s the 15th richest man in the world right now, that’s probably why we couldn’t get him on the show. I think you reached out to him, didn’t you Clay?

Clay: I called him and I heard someone hang-up and I was-


Clay: -like, ”Phil? Are you there Phil?”

Dr. Z: ”Hey Mr. Knight, we’d like to have you in the box that rocks and talk about shoes.”

Clay: But today though we have a guy who has been coaching basketball for a long, long time and actually when he was a senior in high school, I guess Nike shoes came out, is that right Coach Calbert of, founder of, Coach Calbert. Did Nike shoes come out when you were a senior in high school?

Coach Calbert: Yes they did, I didn’t like them.

Clay: Why?

Coach Calbert: They were not very comfortable and they were kind of ugly.

Clay: Were you wearing like Birkenstock sandals? What were you wearing back then?

Coach Calbert: I was wearing Converse, everybody wore Converse.

Clay: Really?

Coach Calbert: Yes.

Clay: The Chuck Taylors?

Coach Calbert: Of course, yes, with the great soles.

Clay: You know that Nike has then bought the Chuck Taylors, you know that?

Coach Calbert: Oh no, I didn’t.

Clay: They did, they bought them now. If you’re listening right now and you say, ”I’m not a sell-out, I go old school, I get the Chuck Taylors”, well you’re actually paying Nike, so this just in.

Dr. Z: This just in.

Clay: Here’s the deal, Phil Knight gets the idea to start Nike at age 24, now he’s 33. Okay, so how many years? Nine years.

Dr. Z: Nine years.

Clay: It’s taken only nine years to get to a point where he’s realized, ”This logo, this brand isn’t working.” It was called Tiger, was the shoes he was selling.

Dr. Z: Tiger, from Japan, the Japanese shoe.

Clay: Yes, so he goes ahead and creates the Nike name and logo nine years after starting the business. The Nike logo is meant to suggest movement because it represents the wings of the great goddess of victory Nike, this just in. By the way, for those of you who don’t know that, it represents, again, the Greek goddess of victory, that’s Nike. The iconic swoosh was designed Z for $35 in 1971 by Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson who was hired by the founder of the company Nike. Z, did you know that? It was $35.

Dr. Z: it’s worth a lot more now [laughs] and here’s the deal folks, that the takeaway with that and the important thing to learn is this, is that Phil Knight was not a graphic designer.

Clay: What?

Dr. Z: Phil Knight was not a maker of logos.

Clay: Logos.

Dr. Z: Phil knight went to the university, found a college student that was in graphic design and he said, ‘‘Hey listen, I need a logo” and got the logo done and wow. Look, he’s done pretty well with that whole swoosh.

Clay: Now check it out, Phil knight is a good guy, by the way, he’s a good guy.

He comes back aged 55, by the way, you’re 52 you’re looking beautiful, you’re looking like you’re 22.

Clay: [laughs]

Dr. Z: Look at your Facebook Live it’s just wow, you’ve aged well.

Clay: I got the face for radio stop it.

Dr. Z: Here’s the deal, in September of 1983 nearly three years after the company went public. Knight invited Davidson to a company lunch. Imagine you’ve been invited to this lunch. You bought the logo for $35 back in the day okay, so this is 22 years later. There he presents her with a diamond ring engraved with a swoosh and he gives her an envelope with 500 shares which were worth $643,000.

Clay: Wow that is really cool. I did not know that by the way.

Dr. Z: She says this, she goes, “This was something rather special for Phil to do because I originally built him and he paid me on time.”


Dr. Z: The notable quotable though is that– the idea, the takeaway I want to make sure we get in your head. The thing I want you to leave with here is that again,

It took nine years to take his idea and to build it into fruition. But he doggedly pursued that, because he’s the shoe dog, he’s Phil Knight.

Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: So age 33, this is how he sold things, okay. He re-brands the company, and he starts reaching out to many popular athletes who are wearing shoes.

Dr. Z: Most of them wear shoes.

Clay: Yes, most basketball players are wearing shoes. And he says, “Here’s the deal: I want you to wear my shoes.” And they’re like, “I don’t want to wear your shoes.” “I want you to wear my shoes.” “I don’t want to wear your shoes.” “You can have them for free.” “For free? Okay, I’ll wear your shoes.” So knight, at age 34, this is 11 years after he starts. This is when he finally begins to no longer lose. This is 11 years.

Dr. Z: Wow.

Clay: 11 years.

Dr. Z: I guess that’s one way to put it, right?

Clay: He goes, “11 years, here’s the deal, Olympic athletes, you freaking athletes, just if you’ll take my shoes I’m calling The Cortez. If you’ll just wear these, they’re in a variety of colors and I’ll freaking give them to you for free. Just wear them, they’re different colors, and just [yells]” So the Olympics happened in Munich, and people start wearing his shoes. There’s a glimmer of hope, Z.

Dr. Z: It’s a breakthrough, and that was the move back then. Now they have to pay the people quite a bit of money to wear them. But back in the day, he was just giving it to them free.

Clay: He’s the first guy to do this, though.

Dr. Z: Yes, first guy to do it. And he got the cool kids, he got the athletes, he got the people that the kids look up to wearing the shoes.

Clay: How have you done that with local DJs? With your optometry clinic? You did this move. This is a move you did. You didn’t give people shoes, but you gave them — what did you do?

Dr. Z: With our optometrist we gave them the cool office, the cool space, the cool glasses, the cool thing. What happens is, is that when you advertise and you bring a sizzle to it, now it’s not only you’re getting glasses, but we’re getting glasses from Doctor Zoellner’s. When you advertise somewhat, and you get a little bit of fame behind you, and that’s part of having a business, you want to build up the expectation before they even walk into the door. You want to make a little sizzle, you want to make a little pop to it. And so by advertising on the radio, which was my first original move, which I could still continue to do, people will hear you and they all of a sudden — and you have a DJ endorsing you, and saying, “Hey.”

Clay: Hey.

Dr. Z: “Hey, I go there, and this place is cool.”

Clay: Stay the Junk Man, I wear your glasses.

Dr. Z: Yes, exactly.

Clay: Curly Rush, wearing your glasses.

Dr. Z: Exactly. Oh, back in the day —

Clay: Back in the day —

Dr. Z: Oh you went old school on me.

Clay: Old school. I remember that, man. I remember that stuff, bro.

Dr. Z: Yes, and that’s the thing about it, so they get on here to “Hey listen, I’m going here, I’m wearing their Oakley’s. I’m wearing their Ray-Ban’s. I’m wearing their cool stuff, and look at me.” And then people would soon go, “I’ve been listening to you for years, I trust you, you’re in my car and my living room every day. I believe you.”

Clay: Now this just in, if you go to, you will see that coach Eddie Sutton, the former legendary basketball coach of Oklahoma State University, his grand kids went to Score B-ball, he endorses the program. We’ve had many National Basketball Association players who were coached by coach Calbert. Many division one players coached by coach Calbert. And coach Calbert, this holiday season, people can be taught the game of basketball from you, my friend. You’re endorsed by celebrities, tell us about the Christmas Basketball Camp.

Coach Calbert: It’s the 27th through the 30th from nine to 12. Three hours of constant action, and we’ll make sure your kids learn.

Clay: You mean the same program, the same moves that you’ve taught many players who’ve gone on to play professional basketball, and almost a hundred that have played division one basketball, that same system can be taught by you?

Coach Calbert: Yes. Actually, the same things that I do with my NBA players, college players, division one, point guards, we do with these 10, 11 and 12-year olds.

Dr. Z: It must cost thousands. How much does it cost?

Coach Calbert: Only $99.

Clay: $99? Are you kidding me? For basketball, could Z and I come?

Coach Calbert: It’s a special deal.

Clay: Do you coach 36-year old men?

Dr. Z: Could you make me an NBA player?

Coach Calbert: No. No way.

Clay: This just in —

Dr. Z: What?

Clay: We’re signing up. Doctor Z and I, we’re signing up you heard us right now. We’re signing up at for the Christmas Basketball Camp. We’re looking for something to do during the holiday break, and you can too. Come join us.

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Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: Alright, Thrive Nation. Welcome back to your inspiration station, and your audio dojo of mojo. My name is Captain Clay Tiberius Clark, and I’ve been sitting here to teach you how to start and grow a successful business. And you know what, we used to do it in the dark. We used to be doing it from five to seven every day. But Z, they’ve moved us to noon. They’ve moved us to noon. And so right now, Z, you could go over to the other station.

Dr. Z: You could.

Clay: And you could be listening right now to Rush Limbaugh. He’s going to interview Bernie Sanders. They’re going to argue about Socialism. He’s going to talk about building a wall. He’s going to talk about Hillary Clinton. Is there a re-count? Is there not a re-count? And there is certain value, I guess, in learning these things. Or your could learn how to improve your own life, and learn how to start and grow your own business, because, this just in, if you’re waiting for the government to come and help you, they’re not going to do it. Z, but it’s not a political show. It’s not a political show.

Dr. Z: I know, no politics. No home and garden. No cooking. But the fun thing about our show, we’re going to give you action items, action steps, give you practical business information. We’re going to coach you up, and do some stuff that can actually affect. I mean, if you listen to some of the other stuff, you’re kind of going “What a year, I’m tired.”

Clay: You’re sad. The healthcare goes down, the rates go up, or down, I could probably know.

Dr. Z: Hey, just tell me the rules, and you know what? We’re going to adjust. We’re going to play. We’re going to make profit. We’re going to be victorious. We’re going to build our business. That’s what we’re going to do.

Clay: I’m going to say something offensive. If you want to learn how to make some copious amounts of cash, you want to build a money machine, then you my friend need to get on the routine. If you want to learn how to make a money machine, you got to get on The Thrive Time Show routine. You got to tune in daily, because we teach we you how to do it, we’ve done it. My name’s Clay Clark, SBA Entrepreneur of the Year. Doctor Robert Zoellner. We always bring in local Oklahomies who built successful companies, and today we’re honored to have a very special guest. This is a guy who remembers — before you started scorebball, you remember when you were a high school senior. Phil Knight was trying to introduce Nike shoes. And you players were like, “I ain’t having it. I’m not wearing those. I’m going to wear Converse.” Coach, what was that like? Did you just immediately reject Nike shoes? What was your reaction when you saw Nike shoes for the first time?

Coach Calert: They were free, but they were really ugly. And they were heavy on my feet, and they kind of clumped. And I wanted to be quick. Plus, girls were looking at you and all that kind of stuff. They were ugly.


Clay: So here’s the deal. You couldn’t be The Man on campus if you wore Nike shoes. Now, you almost can’t be The Man on campus if you’re not wearing Nike shoes.

Coach Calbert: I got mine on right now. I wouldn’t buy anything different.

Clay: So here’s the deal. Phil Knight gets the idea to start Nike at the age of 24, while attending a Stanford class. Now he’s 34, and he’s finally convincing Olympic athletes to wear his shoes for free at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Z, how frustrated does your wife, or your significant other, or anybody who knows you, how frustrated is everyone around you? At this point when you’ve been in business for 10 years. I mean, it’s like a Biblical thing. You’ve been in business for 10 years and you still haven’t really done well at all. How frustrated are you? What’s going on in the home front when you’ve been in business for 10 years and haven’t done any success at all?

Dr. Z: To make it like a college coach and he hadn’t won a game or he hasn’t won a season in 10 years, I mean it’s tough for him to stay around. I would argue that he almost just had a vision, I mean that he still had an idea. If you start a business, and then I don’t sell anything for nine years — you had the vision back then, so you know what, some of you out there listening right now are going, “I’m going to start that business” and then started it. But you really haven’t because you haven’t sold anything. That’s okay. We’re going to coach you up and we say that’s okay. Now he really, arguably, I would say that until you sell something, until you solve a problem —

Clay: Here we go.

Dr. Z: Until you make a profit, you really haven’t started your business. I mean, you may have an idea, you may have your LLC that’s gathering dust on some libr– some rich mahogany.

Clay: I’ve formed my LLC and I’ve created my– I would come out operating agreement and my–

Dr. Z: And I have a business partner.

Clay: And my business partner, we meet once a month and we talk about how we don’t sell anything. I mean, how we have this big vision?

Dr. Z: Yes, and that’s okay. That the step one, and hopefully we can help you make your step one a little shorter than seven to nine years. It’s okay if that’s how long it takes. It’s okay because if you’re in that being the 15th richest person in the world, that’s the Earth, that’s not a bad. That’s not a bad end-game by the way.

Clay: Here’s the deal; it’s age 35 now in 1973 and Nike’s annual revenue jumps to twenty 28.7 million. In 1983, 10 years later, his revenue was 867 million. All of a sudden, Olympic athletes are wearing his shoes, things are doing well in the world of Mr. Phil Knight. Age 41, 1979, he comes with the Nike Air technology which was patented by the inventor Frank Rudy.

Stinger: You’re listening to The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 11.70.

Clay: Phil Knight says this now, his notable quote. He says this, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

Dr. Z: I love that quote. So why do we have to remember that here’s a guy who paid $35 to have a hand-drawn logo made nine years after founding. Why is it so important that we remember, that we actually as an entrepreneur as a potential– If you’re listening right now and you want to start a business, why is it so important that you study how somebody came successful instead of looking at their successes and going, “What’s up? Why do we have a million dollars?”

Dr. Z: You don’t lose hope. You stay in the game. You keep pressing, you keep going. I think there’s a lot of people out there with great ideas and they– something doesn’t happen in the timeframe that they feel like it should happen and they give up, we’re here to show, to encourage you. Part of business coaching and being a business coach, part of business mentoring is there is a part of that coaching, that’s why I love having Coach on here Scholes is that, part of it is letting you know that you can do it and that even though it may take longer than you think it should, that’s okay. As long as we still get to the end game, as long as we get to be the 15th richest person in the world–

Clay: Coach, I’m not just saying this. Coach, you’ve that kind of a waiting list where you literally, you can only handle about 10 more kids to sign up for your Christmas Basketball Camp. Log on to You’re taking in 10, 9 kids more than you booked out. How long did it take you to make a profit there, scoreb-ball dotcom before you built Oklahoma’s best basketball camp?

Coach Calbert: Probably about three months. We started slow though.

Clay: Three months?

Coach Calbert: We started with one.

Clay: You built the heck out of Phil Knight.

Coach Calbert: But we started with a small little beat up goal up on the upstairs. We started with no tables, no nothing. We were bought just a couple of basketball. We started small.

Clay: You were a shameless user of steroids.

Coach Calbert: Oh, of course.

Clay: Kind of you made a profit in three months, right?

Coach Calbert: Right. It took about three months and we spend as little money as possible. We went to any kind of store we could to find a chair, some beat up chair for parents to sit and we did everything we could to keep our costs down.

Clay: I want to ask you this my friend; age 41 then Air Technology comes out. Do you remember when Air Force One came out man?

Coach Calbert: I remember when they started putting those bubbles in those shoes.

Clay: What do you think about that? Was that whack. Was it not good?

Coach Calbert: I thought it was kind of cool.

Clay: You thought it’s kind of cool?

Coach Calbert: Yes, then it started turning my attitude around about them.

Clay: At age 43, our main man Phil Knight, the Air Force One basketball shoe becomes the first shoe using this technology. This is what Phil Knight says, notable quotable. He says, “What if there were a way without being an athlete to feel what athletes feel to play all the time instead of working?” Think about that. This is Phil Knight. He says, “Or else to enjoy work so much that it becomes essentially the same thing.” He explains that he loved working. Phi Knight says, “What if there was a way, without being an athlete, to feel the way that athletes feel – to play all the time instead of working or else to enjoy work so much that it becomes essentially the same thing?” Phil Knight loved sports. He was obsessed with it. He couldn’t stop. This was his passion.

Now age 45, he signed a guy with the name of Michael Jordan. You guys, Z have you heard about Michael Jordan?

Dr. Z: I guess somewhere in the back of my mind it’s kind of scratching my memory.

Clay: I feel like he played volley–did he play basketball or was he in the– Coach, was he into curling? Was it in the Olympic sport where you have the guys Bjorn and Sven and Rauschendorfer for they get up on the ice and they-

Coach Calbert: If he was a swimmer it wouldn’t have been like my kid. It’d have been– I don’t think that would work.

Clay: Sometimes I dream, remember that Z? that he is me-

Dr. Z: Be like Mike.

Clay: You’ve got to see that’s how I dream to be. Sometimes I move, “Oh ooh.” Sometimes I groove like Mike. If Z could be like Mike–? You know that song or anything?

Dr. Z: No. Sorry.

Coach Calbert: No. Okay, here’s the deal, he says this, Phil Knight says, “Somewhere,” this is a notable quote from Phil Knight himself. He says, “Someone somewhere once said that business is war without bullets” and I tended to agree. In 1985 when he was a college athlete, he begins recruiting Michael Jordan. He signs him to a five-year deal for 500,000 a year, which by the way in today’s money, that would be 1.121 million dollars. He got them for, in today’s money, 1.12 million dollars. He got the first big number shoe deal. Z, how did that change the game for Nike my friend?

Dr. Z: Oh my goodness. Wow. That really exploded them. I know you’ve researched to all of these about your fun facts and It’s like everybody else is listening on Thrive right now. I can hardly wait to hear the number because I know the number is going to be, what else, it’s going to be-

Clay: Here’s the deal, the company begins selling Air Jordans for $65 a pair in March of 1985, and by May of that year, the company sold 70 million dollars of the shoe. By the end of the year, they had sold $100 million dollars of the shoe. Now aged 46, the company hits one billion dollars of sales.

Dr. Z: Unbelievable.

Clay: These guys weren’t making any money five years previously and now they’re poof. And he says this; he says, “At first we couldn’t be establishment because we didn’t have any money. We were guerrilla marketers and we still are a little bit, but as we became number one on our industry, we’ve had to modify our culture and become a little bit more planned.”

[background music]

Clay: Age 47, he introduces the Air-Max shoe. My friends, you’re not going to want to miss out what happens when Phil Knight’s 48, because when he’s 48, things start to get mega great. Mega awesome Z.

Dr. Z: Mega incredible. Hang in there folks. Thanks for listening. This is Thrive Time show. When we come back, we’ve got more on the Phil Knight story. Don’t go anywhere.

[background music]

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Stinger: Broadcasting from the center of the universe, featuring optometrist-turned-entrepreneur, Dr. Robert Zoellner, and US SBA entrepreneur of the year, Clay Clark. This is The Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 11.70.

Clay: All right T-Town and Oklahomies. Welcome back to The Thrive Time Show in your audio dojo of mojo and if you’re on Facebook Live right now, you’ve recognized the scenery is changed inside the Box That Rocks. We have a very special guest and Dr. Z, let’s give some hints to the Tulsans out there, to the Oklahomies. Who is our guest inside the Box That Rocks, as we talk about the Phil Knight and the Nike story? How Phil Knight built the 50, how he became the world’s 15th wealthiest man? Who– give him give him some tips. Who do we have inside the Box That Rocks.

Dr. Z: We have, first of all is a beautiful man on the outside and the inside.

Clay: Oh wow.

Dr. Z: He’s an author, he’s a poet.

Clay: He’s a poet, right?

Dr. Z: He could be a singer or songwriter. I wouldn’t doubt that at all.

Clay: It’s all about the chicken.

Dr. Z: He’s– You know what? I tell you what, if you like chicken,-

Clay: If you do,

Dr. Z: -this this is your man.

Clay: If you’re an American.

Dr. Z: Yes, if you’re an American apparently, chickens a thing.

Clay: Yes, This guy but this guy owns two Chick-Fil-As,

Dr. Z: Two Chick-Fil-As.

Clay: He’s got– What is this, 75 kids? 6 kids?

Dr. Z: So many, we can’t even. I don’t even know that he has an exact count.

Clay: I will say he had a kid after he had a vasectomy.

Dr. Z: Yes, which is the thing.

Clay: That’s the thing that’s never happened before in history that I know of, but he’s had that, a kid after the second. He also has a World– Guinness Book of World Record. We will let him talk about it.

Dr. Z: Several, he has several of them actually. That’s one of his moves, that’s one of the super-power moves.

Clay: It is Arthur Green oh, ladies and gentlemen. Arthur Green will come inside the Box That Rocks. How are you doing?

Arthur: I’m doing great. How are you guys doing?

Clay: Man, we’re honored to have you. We’re talking today about the Nike story and how Phil Knight was able to grow his idea. By the way, it took him nine years to build a profitable business from the time he had the idea at age 24, until he starts making some money. It took him nine years. We’re getting into the details of how he did it. Age 48, 1988, the company, his company, pivots and it comes up with the tagline ‘Just Do It’.

He says, “I may be over the top on this, but I just don’t want to like my competitors. I want my people to believe that whenever our competitors succeed, we will be able to– we will be less able to do all the things we want to do.” Z, I’m going to start with you. Are you pretty competitive as an optometrist? I mean, do you want — do you believe the pie is just big enough for all of you?

Dr. Z: I’m very competitive. I think that’s in the nature of most entrepreneurs to be competitive. If you don’t understand that the people that you’re competing with want the business that you have and you’re sitting there going, “I want to just go to Kumbaya and sit around and make s’mores. And we’ll just chop up the pie and we’ll have equal little share. There’s plenty to go around.”

Clay: “Why don’t we share that revenue equally at Popeye’s Chicken?” Popeye Chicken.

Dr. Z: If I have a better month than you do, I’ll cut you a check. If you have a better month than I do, you’ll cut me a check.

Clay: Okay. We have some —

Dr. Z: If I have a tough month, then you make my house payment. No. Business is war without bullets. I love that line by the way.

Clay: We have somebody listening right now who is going, “I own a Popeye’s Chicken. Why are you so hateful? You’re so hateful.” Let me tell you a true story. This happened. My kids were in the Suburban and, Arthur, I want you to impact this. My kids were in the Suburban. True story. This happened about four months ago. I said, “Hey, kids. Where do you want to go tonight?” And they go, “Chick-fil-A. Yey.” So we go over there to 101st at Memorial, 105th at Memorial. Right next to it is a Popeye’s Chicken and there’s a big line around Chick-fil-A.

Arthur: Big line.

Clay: Such a big line. In fact, you have somebody came out there. Somebody comes out at Chick-fil-A. They come out to my car and they pre-take my orders. It’s like a drive-through. But there’s a person who’s coming up to your car and then line is wrapped around the business. At Popeye’s Chicken, there’s like one person there. It’s probably the father of the employee dropping him off to work or something.

My kids, I didn’t pay them to say, “Let’s go to Chick-fil-A.” But they love the balloons. They love the service. They love the experience. They love the play zone. They love the whole deal. How competitive is Chick-fil-A to go out there and earn everybody’s business? Walk me through the — I mean, how competitive is your organization my friend?

Arthur: Like compared to other competitors?

Clay: Yes.

Arthur: Or compared to other Chick-fil-As?

Clay: I’m just saying how competitive is Chick-fil-A? I mean, how much of the business do you want? Do you want all the business?

Arthur: We want it all. Every last chicken.

Clay: Why?

Arthur: Because they’re ours.

Clay: You want all the business?

Arthur: We want it all. We’re in it to make money.

Clay: So walk me through some of the crazy things you’ve done in your years passed to drive — I mean, when it was a winter. It was a winter. It’s a cold winter in Tulsa.

Dr. Z: Winter is coming. Winter is coming.

Clay: A snow. A snow.

Arthur: It’s coming back.

Clay: A snow and over the — all the land. And there was not — there was not a single Tulsan out looking for chicken. It was almost like — Z, it was almost like people quit looking for chicken because the weather was so bad. Then [music] you had a vision, Arthur, to build what? What did you do? What world record thing did you built to draw traffic to your business?

Arthur: We said, “Let’s make the world’s largest snow cone.”

Clay: Did you really do this?

Arthur: Absolutely.

Clay: If people Google the world’s largest snow cone and find this truth?

Arthur: Yes.

Clay: Okay. How did you do it? What was the process? What would you — just walk me through to step one, step two, how did you do it?

Arthur: First of all, you need to understand that Chick-fil-A is not a snow cone company. We just wanted to sell chicken.

Clay: “I thought it was a snow cone company?”

Arthur: No. There’s no chicken snow cones that we know off. But we said, we want to have a lot of people come and have spicy chicken biscuits. Because we’re going to have like three feet of snow that day. I called an expert in the field that make snow cones and I said, “Come, help me make a giant snow cone because –“

Clay: Who is the expert in the field?

Arthur: This is Josh from Josh’s Sno Shack.

Clay: That guy is a big liner and this is his snow cones shacks as well.

Arthur: He is. We just share our alliance.

Clay: You guys teamed up to build the world’s largest snow cone?

Arthur: We did. In fact, we painted our whole parking lot purple and there’s rainbow colored. It was awesome.

Clay: You were in the Tulsa World. You were on the news. I mean, people — there’s a line around the door. People lined up during a winter, cold winter month, to come to your Chick-fil-A because — Z, because of the size of that snow cone.

Dr. Z: How big was it? I mean, now I’m just kind of curious. How big a snow cone was that, Arthur?

Arthur: It was like 13 feet.

Clay: 13 feet?

Arthur: Yes. It was negative five degrees.

Dr. Z: In diameter? In diameter or height or what?

Arthur: It was 13-feet tall.

Dr. Z: Oh, 13-feet tall.

Arthur: You have to get on the ladder just to eat it.

Dr. Z: Oh.

Clay: Knowledge bomb. How did you get started? [gunshot]

Arthur: With Chick-fil-A?

Clay: How did you get started building this world’s largest snow cone? How did you do it?

Arthur: We said, “Let’s do it.” So, we just started making phone calls. Who’s going to help us with this? Who is not crazy enough to join us and do this?

Clay: Did you literally make the calls? Did you do it yourself?

Arthur: Oh, yes.

Clay: And so, you built this thing. Again, now, talk to me about the daily excellence of Chick-fil-A. What are some things that you have to do on a daily basis as a franchisee of Chick-fil-A to hold the standard? As Chick-fil-A corporate wants to have an awesome experience, what are some of the things that you do at Chick-fil-A? How often are you guys cleaning the bathrooms at Chick-fil-A?

Arthur: Every time they’re dirty. Which is about — what? Every 20 minutes? [gunshot]

Clay: How intense is your opening checklist at Chick-fil-A?

Arthur: If you ask my managers, way too intense. [gunshot]

Clay: Do you have to say, “It’s my pleasure” every time?

Arthur: Absolutely. Otherwise, you’re promoted to customer status. [gunshot]

Clay: What? Z, what does that mean when he says, “You get promoted to customer status”? What does that mean?

Dr. Z: It’s just mean. It’s just mean. It’s a clever way of saying, “You’re firewood.”

Clay: How much time do you spend training your staff, Arthur, on how to do things the Chick-fil-A way? I mean, how much time — when you hire a new person, how many hours are you spending training them the Chick-fil-A way?

Arthur: We spend about 16 hours just getting them started.

Stinger: [sound] You’re listening to the Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: Z, I’m not asking — I’m going to quiz you to make up a number. I know you have a lot of businesses you’re involved in. But how much time do you spend on really trying to train? Then, are you perfect? No. Am I perfect? No. Is Arthur perfect? No. But how much time do you spend training your people to greet people the Dr. Zoellner and associates way, the right way? How much time do you spend training the people inside your optometry clinic to do things and to provide customer service the right way?

Dr. Z: We never stop training actually. Then we do cross-training. Once you learn one area then you do cross-training and you’re continuously training and doing role-playing and here’s this new product that’s rolling now. There’s new systems that we put into place. So we always do. But you got to ask a kind of specific question within a question there which you really like to do I think.

Clay: A question within a question. What kind of question?

Dr. Z: A question within a question. It’s kind of you move sometimes to me.

Clay: I’m so sorry.

Dr. Z: You’re like, “Z, what about this? And what do you think of that caveat?” And this [unintelligible 00:56:24].

Clay: Z, you told me they’re 18, 17 steps.

Arthur: Yes. It was like a–

Dr. Z: In one step. Tell me the 18 steps or one step. But you know a couple of hours. I mean, obviously, you’re even answering the phone with the scripts and with everything and it’s very important because a lot of times that first greeter is where you put the newest employee.k

Clay: Oh. [laughs]

Dr. Z: That person answers the phone is where you we put the newest person.

Clay: Ooh.

Dr. Z: And they have the responsibility of being the face of your organization.

Clay: The face.

Dr. Z: The face.

Arthur: That’s Popeye’s.

Dr. Z: Oh, sorry.

Clay: Oh, no.

Arthur: I had to go there.

Clay: Okay. Here we go. Here we go. So, Phil Knight realizes his aged 48. This is when their company pivots. He realizes we — now, this is Phil Knight’s epiphany. He says, “He realizes that majority of humans on the planet are not top athletes.” What?

Dr. Z: What?

Clay: He says, “They don’t even workout on their shoes when they do buy them.” He’s going — he begins to focus on creating athletic shoes that many people will wear just for fashion over function. So he launches the Bono’s commercial. Remember those Bono’s commercial?

Arthur: I actually do. Yes.

Clay: The Nike. The Michael Jordan and Spike Lee says, “It’s gonna be the shoes.” How does he jumped so high? It’s got to be the shoes.

Arthur: Yes.

Clay: The 1991 Andre Agassi and Red Hot Chili Peppers where it’s Agassi’s rock and roll tennis camp. Remember Charles Barkley I’m not the role model commercials?

Dr. Z: Oh, yes. I remember those.

Clay: Remember Dennis Hopper and the referee that was obsessed with Barry Sanders or Little Penny? Or Ken Griffey Jr running for president and George Clinton was his campaign manager? The thing is Nike begins to realize that, “Hey, most people are not focused on the shoes. They want to focus on something bigger than themselves.” So he says this. This is what he says. He says, “They began, Nike began to transform into a marketing-focused company and not a product-focused company.”

Z, that’s a huge thing to become a marketing company and not a shoe focused or a company focused on just selling shoes to top athletes. I mean, that’s a — Z, when did you realize with your optometry clinic, you’re going to have to focus on marketing? I mean, obviously, you do great quality optometry. I’m not saying that Phil quit caring about the quality of the shoe. But he realized I have to become a marketing company that sells shoes. When did you realize you have to become a marketing company that sells optometry and Great Vision and contacts and glass? When did that occur to you?

Dr. Z: A couple of three, four years into it. I mean, you start with saying, “Okay. Now I want to grow my business.” And one of the ways you grow your business is you press on the — If your business is a car, marketing is the gas pedal of the car. And so, as you press on that gas pedal [makes noise] then your car goes faster. At some point, you realized that it’s okay. I mean, even — I remember back in the day.

Clay: Back in the day.

Dr. Z: Back in the day when professionals were like, “Well, that’s just a — that’s not ethical to advertise that kind of –“

Arthur: “That’s not ethical to advertise optometry.” You’re taking the hippocratic oath, bro tone.

Dr. Z: Yes, but yes. So, it’s okay. It’s not unethical. It’s ethical too if you do it the correct way. Of course, there’s rules in advertising for almost all kind of businesses out there. But the thing about it is that you have to look at it just like Phil Knight did. Yes, you have to have a quality shoe. You do. But all businesses are really a marketing company that sells a product or service.

Clay: Okay. Here’s the deal.

Dr. Z: Well —

Clay: Z, you’re saying that every business is a marketing business that just sells whatever your core product is. You have to be a marketing business.

Dr. Z: Does that sound — does that sound kind of — Does that sound wrong?

Clay: If it does sound wrong to you, this also sounds right to you?

Recording: You kids are probably saying to yourselves, “Hey, I’m going to go off and I’m going to-

Dr. Z: Oh, no.

Recording: – get the world by the tail and wrap it around and pull it down and put it in my pocket.” Well, I’m here to tell that you’re probably going to find out as you go out there that you’re not going to amount to jack squat.

Clay: See if you can’t embrace that you have to market, that happens.

Dr. Z: I tell you what and everyone is like, “Well, I just wanted to grow viral and I just want word of mouth and I just want to. I want my– my product’s just so awesome. It stands on its own and we’re really more concerned about quality over quantity.”

Clay: “Really, it’s more quality than I was [crosstalk] about.”

Dr. Z: “Sure. I don’t want to be that busy and so therefore — I can’t afford. I can’t afford to advertise that’s the reality of it. I can’t afford to do it.”

Clay: “I care more about people than I care about my marketing.”

Dr. Z: “Well yes of course, so it’s just all about the quality of the product and the viral nature of human nature to spread the word.”

Clay: “It’s more pure, more a pure vision.”

Dr. Z: “It’s more pure that way.” [laughs] No shake that off, you’re a marketing company that sells or produces a product or a service that is yours.

Clay: When we get back, Arthur Greeno is going to be walking us through how fastidious Chick Fil-A is about the quality of the food they provide and the quality of the marketing they provide and the quality of the customer service. “The quality? The customer service? The marketing? I mean you could care about all three things at one time?” Oh yes. When we come back, Arthur Greeno is going to walk you through the nitty gritty of how chick Fil-A provides excellence day after day.


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You’re listening to The Thrivetime Show, on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: All right thrive nation, welcome back. We’re playing some ’80s for the ladies here. Z, we’re going out of our way. We’re playing some ’80s for the ladies. There’s a lot of soccer moms out there listening going, “How come you’re not playing any good ’80s music anymore in Talk Radio.” I’m going to tell you what, we just played some ’80s for the ladies.

Dr. Z: We played some ’80s for the ladies and ’80s are great. I got a lot of great memories of the ’80s.

Clay: One thing we’re not going to do for all the soccer moms listening right now is we’re not going to wear yoga pants. We know that you’re wearing yoga pants. We respect your rights to wear yoga pants, but we’re doing that. We’re putting some ’80s for you, we’re not going to wear soccer — just the yoga pants. We’re not going to do that.

Dr. Z: You continue to fight for the right to wear yoga pants, that’s the move.

Clay: We have a guy on the show who — I’m telling you what, this guy, he’s a very, very successful local entrepreneur, local business owner, local franchisee, great guy. He’s also the father of six. Is it six human kids, Arthur greeno, six human kids?

Arthur: They are all human but they smell abhuman.

Clay: Here’s the deal, you are a man who you have two chick Fil-A locations, is this correct?

Arthur: Yes, sir.

Clay: Walk the thrivers — we’re talking today about the story about Phil Knight. We talked about how at age 24, he gets this idea to start Nike. Then he really doesn’t have any success at all till he’s about 33. It’s like nine years. Walk me through, when did you start working at Ghick Fil-A and when did you start to have some success?

Arthur: I started working at chick Fil-A in 1988.

Dr. Z: The ’80s, back to the ’80s.

Arthur: Back to the ’80s. We got to play that music and put those yoga pants back on that you’d keep telling them you weren’t wearing.

Clay: I’m not wearing the yoga pants. If you’re on Facebook Live, you’ll see that I respect myself too much to wear yoga pants.

Arthur: I started an ABA with no yoga pants. They’re wearing it around at the time. I don’t know why we’re stuck on that. But anyway, in ’88, I worked at Woodland Hills Mall at the Chick Fil-A. I started there making six bucks an hour.

Clay: At Woodland Hills Mall, six bucks an hour?

Arthur: Six bucks an hour.

Clay: Okay. Break it down for us.


When did you begin to have some success?

Arthur: With chick Fil-A?

Clay: Yes, I mean you’ve worked at the Woodlands Hills Mall. When did you finally start to make enough money to feed yourself and now live in your luxurious house and put in the pool? You’re kind of a diva. You have a beautiful house. You got a great wife, great kids, your house is gorgeous. You got a great pool. You live in the high life. You know what I mean? I mean seriously, I’m not trying to flaunt you. You’re not bragging. I’m bragging on you. You got a great house, great wife, great kids. Seriously, you’re living the American dream. When did that happen?

Arthur: I mean it took eight years before I was even in a profitable location.

Clay: Eight years?

Arthur: Eight years.

Clay: Were you terrible at your job?

Arthur: No, I was good at my job, but it was hard.

Clay: Arthur, was it a deal where they were going, “You’re at chick Fil-A.” And you’re like, “Guys, to take this business to the next level, I have a new idea. I’ve brought my own live chickens into the store today.” Is that what was going on? I mean why did it take you eight years, were you out of your mind?

Arthur: For one, the brand was new. I was going to say, that sounds like the back of my restaurant, right?

Clay: Chick Fil-A was new.

Arthur: Yes. Chick Fil-A was new. We had to go around and sample and people wouldn’t believe it. They think we were giving away pieces of fish. I’m not exaggerating they told my wife that.

Clay: Really? What do you mean? What do you mean giving away pieces of fish?

Arthur: My wife was working one day and this young lady that came up and she said, “I want a fish sandwich like I had yesterday.” She said, “We don’t serve fish sandwiches.” She said, “Yes, you do. I got one yesterday.” Of course, being the brilliant wife that she is she said, “All right one fish sandwich coming up.” [laughs]

Clay: Real quick, you worked at a business for eight years before you had success?

Arthur: That’s correct.

Clay: Someone is listening right now going, “That Phil Knight was a loser.” “Arthur Greeno, it took a long time for him.” That’s normal guys. This is normal.

Arthur: Normal, that is normal. You got to build a foundation.

Clay: How long did you go to college, man?

Arthur: Eight years.

Clay: See, this is a theme. We have eight years of college. You’ve got eight years of chicken knowledge. These are things. If you’re listening right now, success — Prov 10:4, “This isn’t a bible show is it?” No, but Prov 10:4, even if you don’t believe in the bible, there’s some certain wisdom in there you can find. But prov 10:4 says that, “God blesses the hand of the diligent and he punishes the slacker.” By the way, “If you don’t sow seed, nothing will grow.”

So if you’re listening right now, you’re going to have to sow those seeds. We get back to the life of Phil knight. Okay. So Phil Knight. He’s aged 52 now. The company is doing a billion dollars of revenue. Do you guys remember when the sweatshops, they got [unintelligible 01:07:10] came out? Is it 1990s when it first started happening? Where they were talking about the unethical labour practices that Nike had. Do you guys remember that?

Dr. Z: Oh yes, I remember that. I remember it was a thing. Yes.

Clay: Yes. This is what happened is Nike came out. This is what Phil Knight is saying. Phil knight is saying, these are his words, he says, “Whenever reporters said a factory was unsatisfactory, they never said how much better it was than the day we first went in. They never said how hard we’d worked to their factory partners to upgrade the conditions to make them safer and cleaner. They never said that these factories weren’t ours, that we were renters one of many tenants. They simply searched until they found a worker with complaints about conditions and they used that worker to vilify us and only us, knowing our name would generate maximum publicity.”

Arthur, have you ever been sued as a franchisee at Chick Fil-A?

Arthur: My attorneys told me not to answer that.

Clay: Okay, fine. Z, have you ever been sued?

Dr. Z: Oh yes, several times. Sure.

Clay: I’ve been sued quite a bit. What happens is, once you get to the top, more money more problems.

Arthur: Amen.

Dr. Z: Absolutely, and the first one you get whenever it is in your — hopefully, you’ll never have a law suit. But it’s amazing how litigious people can be in this day and age. When you get served that first warrant, it’s debilitating. You are just absolutely crushed. You’re looking for a rock to get under and just hide.

Clay: Z, if I’m listening right now, and I am currently being sued [music], please preach it to me. If I’m getting sued right now and I’m going to a dark period in my life, I’m getting sued and I’m going, “I just want to climb under a rock,” give it to me.

Dr. Z: “It’s okay. It’s okay, you’re going to get through it.”

Clay: “It’s okay.”

Dr. Z: “Make sure you get some good legal representation. Hallelujah.”

Clay: Go ahead.

Dr. Z: “Calm down take a deep breath.”

Clay: Calm down.

Dr. Z: “And above all.”

Clay: Above all.

Dr. Z: “Above all-

Clay: What?

Dr. Z: – when you’re going through it –“

Clay: Going through what?

Dr. Z: “I’m just going to sound crazy, it’s going to be crazy.”

Clay: What is crazy?

Dr. Z: “I’m crazy.”

Clay: He’s crazy.

Dr. Z: “It’s crazy.”

Clay: He cannot think. This man is insane. He has no idea what is going on.

Dr. Z: “You got to forgive him.”

Clay: Forgive who?

Dr. Z: What? “The people suing you.”

Clay: What?

Dr. Z: “Okay, all right.”

Clay: [laughs] I can’t stop. I’m doing it, I can’t stop.

Dr. Z: I know it’s so fun to get it up loud. I’m telling you what though. What will happen is you’ll get so angry. You’ll go through grief stages, with shock and denial first one, then anger and then bargaining and then finally acceptance. Take a deep breath. Don’t sit there and just reread the damn thing over and over because the stuff, it will drive you crazy.

Clay: Help me out. Help me out. I’m going to give you some specifics. These are kind of uncomfortable things to say. You ever got to a point where you couldn’t sleep?

Dr. Z: Absolutely. Sure.

Clay: You’re laying in bed and going, “I can’t sleep.”

Dr. Z: I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. [inaudible 01:09:59] first one. Because I like — Article two is a lie and that thing at the back of the —

Clay: Have you ever got to a point where your intestinal fortitude isn’t that strong. You usually go — You maybe feel like you need to go to the restroom and you go, “Uh oh.” I’m a grown man and, “Uh oh.” Your stomach is so in knots. I mean every time that you’re going, “Uh oh,” people are, “Uh oh, what?” You’re like, “I got to run to the restroom.” You’re just totally — I mean, Arthur, have you ever been that worked up?

Arthur: Oh yes. I just read those things in the bathroom. It’s just quicker.


Dr. Z: Yes. Because you know you’re going to end up there.

Arthur: That’s right.

Dr. Z: But the good thing about it is get good legal council and just turn it over to them and just say, “You know, don’t sit there and get all worked up about it. Just turn it over to the professionals.” I mean, when your car breaks down, you don’t sit there and go, “Oh my gosh. My car. Billy!” You find a mechanic. You get your car to the mechanic and you say, “Analyze it. Let me know what my options are,” and then you make a decision based on what the professional tells you. Same thing with litigation. It’s going to happen. It’s just business 101. If you are successful, there’s somebody out there that’s going to go, “Hmm, you did me wrong and I want money now.”

Clay: As advertised thrivers, when we come back, Arthur is going to get into the details of how Chick-fil-A focuses on marketing and quality and customer service all at the same time. “Quality and quantity? You mean you can have quality chicken and a quantity of chicken? This is crazy. Is it ethical quality and quantity?”

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Live, local, now. You’re listening to the Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: All right Green country and Oklahomies, welcome back to the show that always get you jacked. In fact, we were just listening to Michael Jack, it is the Thrive Time Show, your audio dojo of mojo where we teach you how to start and grow a successful business.

How are we qualified to do it? I’ve done it multiple times. I’m a former SBA Entrepreneur of the Year and what I lack in physical beauty, I make up for in my knowledge of how to start and grow successful companies. That’s sort of my thing, that’s my passion. That’s my process. That’s what I am all about. And, we have a guy on the show today who loves business as much as I do because of the fruit it could produce in your life. It is Dr. Robert Zoellner. Sir, how are you?

Dr. Z: The co-host of the Thrive Time Show here, hollering out to all the thrivers. Thanks for tuning in. It’s Thursday and we talk about some ’80’s songs, a little throwback for the soccer moms which was kind of nice. You gave them a little throwback over in the show. But we have a guy on the show that I have been really anxious to get him on the show because he is a great Tulsa businessman. He is really a good dude.

Clay: He’s a good dude.

Dr. Z: He’s a good dude. He’s an author. He’s a poet. He’s a world-class athlete. He owned a lot of Guinness Book World Records.

Clay: He sincerely owns Guinness World Records, he does. He sincerely owns two Chick-fil-A franchises. He sincerely has written books. He sincerely is a very good speaker. He’s sincerely a good guy. It is Arthur Greeno. Sir, how are you?

Arthur: I am great. Thanks for letting me be here.

Clay: Now, sir, we’re talking today about the Phil Knight story. This is how Nike was able to grow and at a certain point, if you missed the earlier part of the show, you can go to and hear today’s show again. But basically, he pivots from being a shoe company. He realizes, “Wait a minute, there’s more people that buy shoes than people who are elite athletes. I maybe should become a marketing company and not just a premium athletic shoe company. I should focus on becoming a marketing company.”

Z, why is it so important that everyone listening right now realizes that at some point, your company must become a marketing focused company?

Dr. Z: It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling pizza, tennis shoes-

Clay: Chicken.

Dr. Z: – eyeglasses or chicken or you fill in the blank, and even, say, service. “I don’t sell something but I’ll come out and mow your yard. I’ll cut your hair.”

Clay: “I sell chicken service.”

Dr. Z: Yes. Whatever you’re doing, you’re really a marketing company. You’ve got to get the word out. You’ve got to market. You’ve got to get the sizzle. You’ve got to put the cool in. Not the cool, not the fool in there. Then what you do is then you follow it up with a great product. Yes, of course, Nike had to have a great shoe. It had to actually work and feel comfortable and fit and do all that. We get that. We get that. But if you’re just like, “Well, we’re just a high-end and we’ll only sell to Olympic athlete. That’s our whole market.”

Clay: ‘Yes, pretty much.” “If you’re in the Olympics, you can qualify to buy our shoe.”

Dr. Z: “You can qualify to buy, it doesn’t have to –“

Clay: “Get him out of here. He’s not an Olympic athlete. Get him out of here.”

Dr. Z: “He didn’t pass the application process to own one of our shoe.”

Clay: Okay, here we go. I want to ask this to Arthur. How does Chick-fil-A — What do you do on a daily basis to focus on marketing? Because Chick-fil-A does focus on marketing. What do you have to do as a franchise owner?

Arthur: There’s nothing we have to do as franchise owners but —

Clay: Whatever.

Arthur: [laughs] The law is — No. It’s one of those — One of our biggest things is our customer service. And so, if we excel in customer service, they’re going to tell others about it and they’re going to come and pay full price and bring more people in.

Clay: Chick-fil-A though, you’ll see billboards everywhere. What kind of advertising does Chick-fil-A corporate do? The guys, “You know the man, what does a corporate do?”

Arthur: What corporate does is they encourage us as operators to team up and do things like the billboards and radio advertising. But, one of things they talk about is are we making it remarkable? Is it advertising that people are going to remark about?

Clay: Why do they have a cow that says eat more chicken? Is that because it’s remarkable?

Arthur: You tell me. Do you remember the billboards?

Clay: I do. That’s why it’s stuck in my cranium.

Arthur: That’s right. In fact, I know that your kids have a bunch of Chick-fil-A cows at home.

Clay: Why do you guys do marketing and emphasize customer service or I guess how do you do it? How do you focus on marketing and what kind of things do you do on a daily basis? What kind of — Or is it big things that the corporate man is focused on in terms of customer service? What are some things you have to do there that are different than other places cause by default, people are not doing what you guys are doing at Chick-fil-A?

Arthur: Let’s start with the signature phrase at Chick-fil-A. If you go there as a customer, you tell them thank you, what are they going to say in return?

Clay: It’s my pleasure.

Arthur: That’s right. See, it’s funny because both of you guys know it.

Stinger: You’re listening to the Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: So you’re saying that in Chick-fil-A, the customary move, the signature move, you have to say “it’s my pleasure” when a customer address you?

Arthur: That’s right. If they say, “Thank you,” and you say, “My pleasure,” and they say, “Thank you,” again, you say, “My pleasure,” and you just go on the cycle for hours.

Dr. Z: I’m going to try that. I’m just going to go up there and order a fish sandwich.

Clay: I’m going to walk up to them and say, “It’s my pleasure.”

Dr. Z: And say thank you. [laughs]

Clay: It’s my pleasure.

Arthur: You’re going to confuse them all.

Clay: “It’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. Don’t take that away from me. It was my pleasure. It was my pleasure.”

Arthur: Make sure when you do that at one of the other Chick-fil-A’s, you’re not slowing down a drive through line when you do that.

Clay: Okay, now. Then if we focus on again, we focused on the marketing. We’ve focused on the customer service. Talk to me about the product. What kind of detail goes into making awesome — How is Chick-fil-A chicken different than most chicken?

Arthur: For one, it comes in as a fresh product. We literally bred it on site. But the thing is that, our holding times, everything is about having a perfect product.

Clay: You bred the chicken on site?

Arthur We do. It’s amazing.

Clay: I knew there was some shenanigans going on there, Z. I like off-site breded chicken. I like where the chicken where it is breded off site. I’m tired of them breding it on site. It’s too fresh.

Arthur: I’m glad you like it that way because there’s a lot of businesses that do it that way.

Dr. Z: Here’s the deal, I mean great steaks, I mean they talk about how long they have been aged. We aged our kobe beef for 12 years.

Clay: I left my steak in the car for three months. [laughs]

Arthur: We’re going to spell that out to Chick-fil-A and say we aged our chickens for 12 years.

Dr. Z: I guess chicken and steak are a little bit different but that’s awesome. You know what, every time I go there, it’s an awesome experience, Arthur. You guys do a — They do a great job I’ll tell you what, you talk about — We’ve talked about marketing in a lot of our shows. You can go to Thrive Time Show and you can catch a bunch of past episodes. We talked about marketing. We talk about being a purple cow out in the pasture.

You guys are great at being the purple chicken out in the pen, you know what I mean? Your advertising is so fun and so remarkable. I love it when I see a Chick-fil-A commercial come on. I could quote a couple of them right now just off the top of my head because they’re so — I love the humor and I love the play on — how you guys play on the concept.

Clay: Z, Chick-fil-A has got some very compelling ads that they really convince us all to take action. But you and I, we have two demands of the thrivers tonight. If you are listening right now, we have two things that we demand.

Arthur: Two.

Clay: We have no ability to enforce this but we demand it.

Arthur: Yes.

Clay: One, if you know Sean Copeland, send him a text right now. If you know Sean Copeland, just send him a text.

Arthur: Send him a text? You want me to send a text right now?

Clay: I want to see how many text messages we can send to Sean Copeland right now. If you know Sean Copeland and you have his phone number, send him a text. That would be fun to see. Can we hit 100?

Dr. Z: Yes. Let’s do it. Let’s hit a 100.

Arthur: Wait. Can I give out his phone number right now?

Clay: No, you can’t do that. He is the CEO of Regent Bank. If you know him, right now just send him a text because they’re talking about you on the radio. Don’t tell him what it’s about. Just make him kind of hint to that it might not be positive. This is going to [inaudible 01:20:25].


Arthur: Hey, let’s give them all the numbers.

Dr. Z: Just mess with him. Send a feisty Friday, just a kind of — you’re kind of little —

Clay: Send to Sean Copeland. He’s a beautiful man. We love Sean Copeland. If you know him and you have his cell phone number, send him a text. The second thing is, get over to Arthur’s Chick-Fil-A over there at 71st and Garnett.

Arthur: Garnett.

Clay: Get over there, it’s right there in front of Panera, right there in the same kind of area. It’s right over there, but where else by across the street from you?

Arthur: There is a there’s a course right behind me. Come by and I’ll give you Sean Copeland phone number.


Clay: What will you do — No, no. Wow. Wow. Sean Copeland, Sean Copeland Sean Copeland. Regent Bank, Regent Bank, Regent bank. Here’s the thing, what the kind of the deal? Why does somebody need to come to this Chick-fil-A tonight? What’s going on there? What’s hot, what’s fresh, what’s going on at Chick-fil-A this afternoon? Why do they need to come by your Chick-Fil-A? Why is it the best Chick-fil-A in Tulsa?

Arthur: For one, we have the best Christmas light display.

Clay: You do?

Dr. Z: Wow.

Arthur: Yes, we do. It’s awesome. We have lights everywhere. There’ll be cows dancing around. That’s just how we roll.

Clay: Get over there right now Tulsa. Get over there to the Chick-fil-A at 71st in Garnett. You’ve got to head on over there and make sure if you know Sean Copeland you send that man a text. When we come back, we’re going to learn how Nike fought through some adversity when things weren’t looking so good. They’re starting to get sued for unfair labor practices and that kind of thing, and they have to fight through some adversity and he’s 58 years old. Not so fun.

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You’re listening to the Thrive Time Show on Talk Radio 1170.

Clay: All right thrivers, today you are in for a very special treat. We’re talking about how Phil Knight grew Nike into being with the billion-dollar business that it is today. In fact, when he came up with the concept to start Nike, my main man was 24 years old and was attending the Stanford MBA program. It took him almost nine years to finally build a viable business. Then, at the age of 58 years old, when most people are starting to go, “I’m finally reaping the fruits of my efforts,” he’s engaged in a massive national sweat shop scandal story.

On the show today, we have Dr. Robert Zoellner, my partner and the co-host of the show. With us, we have Arthur Greeno of Chick-fil-A fame on the show.

Z, when you finally have worked so hard to build a business, what is it within the human nature that still begins attacking and wanting to destroy what you’ve built? How frustrating has that been throughout your career? When you finally built something, you then begin to be sued or attacked. Why is it human nature for that to happen?

Dr. Z: Here’s the deal about it is, is that if you’re on the bottom rung of the business social ladder in your area, nobody cares about that.

Clay: Through the carp.

Dr. Z: Nobody cares about that. If you’re down here and you’re barely making it, you’re about already to go out of business. You’re not doing very well. You’re insignificant, no one cares.

Clay: I primarily eat fish poop. I’m a carp.

Dr. Z: I’m a carp.

Arthur: And there’s bunches of you.

Dr. Z: The thing about it is when someone is suing you, they want something from you and the old saying, “You can’t get blood from a turnip,” is so true. If you sit there and your business just one big old turnip, and someone wants blood, they’re not going to sue you, but as you grow-

Clay: As you grow —

Dr. Z: – then people look at you and there’s jealousy.

Clay: Jealousy.

Dr. Z: There’s other competitors that say, “He’s taking business from me,” instead of saying, “Hey, how can I fight? How can I compete?” The old jealous head rares up.

Clay: “Joseph Stalin was right. He was a communist thing, Dr. Zoellner is trying to take all the optometry business out of the Tulsa market. I mean I could –“

Dr. Z: That’s not fair.

Clay: “When did we all become communists?”

Dr. Z: “We should stop this. We should stop it.” The thing about it is, and then they start nit picking and then — but when you are the top, when you are the big fish in the pond so to speak in your business in your area –

Clay: Oh boy.

Dr. Z: – then the other fish go, “Hey, we want some of that.”

Clay: “We want some of that.”

Dr. Z: Also too, attorneys will, when someone comes in and says, “I slipped and fell. My car ran over this, there, right that happened this. I had a bad thing at this.” Then they sit there and they go, “Oh, wait a second. This person has money. This person is successful. It’s worth my time to go down to the courthouse and file a lawsuit against them.”

Clay: “Because I’m after the money.”

Dr. Z: “Because I want — Show me the money baby.”

Arthur: “I have plenty of time.”

Dr. Z: Yes, “I’ve got plenty of time and nothing else to do. I’ll get in my Honda CRV and drive down to the jail house and I will file a lawsuit for $69 and we will go after him.” The thing about is, like I said earlier, and I really do mean this, I said it’s something we rolled over. We want to talk about lawsuits and that is forgiving. I’ll tell you what, if you keep that bitterness in you about someone suing you, someone coming after you and doing you wrong, it only hurts you.

When you’re hurting inside, it hurts your business within and ultimately you do give them what they want and that is the downfall or the little bump in the road of your business. Turn it over to your attorneys. Do the old Taylor Swift song, the song, Shake it off.

Clay: Shake it off.

Dr. Z: Shake it off baby. Don’t worry, I won’t start singing.

Clay: Shake it off.

Dr. Z: Arthur reminded me that this mic is not for singing. During the break, I was singing a song and he was like, “Z, stop it.”

Clay: Hate, just going to hate, hate, hate, hate.

Dr. Z: Here we go.

Arthur: Here we go. And the yoga pants.

Dr. Z: Back to the yoga pants. The thing about it is folks, if you’re listening out there, it’s one of the hardest things to do and you’re sitting there going, “If this person is lying. They’re trying to take my money. They’re suing me. They’re trying to ruin me.” Eventually, you’re going to have to get to the point of forgiveness. Because if you don’t, it’s just going eat at you for the rest of your life if you let it.

Clay: This guy turns the frown upside down. Phil Knight goes from a negative to a positive. He gets Tiger Woods engaged in the game. Just so you guys remember, Tiger Woods had just been this dominant college player. He begins to kill with his commercial campaign called Hello World. It’s Tiger Woods announcing to the world that, “Hey, by the way, I’m a three-time defending US amateur champion turned pro golfer, and by the way I’m Asian and I’m African-American. I’m a mix. I’m a mix. I’m not I’m not the typical white guy who you’ve seen hitting golf balls.

He was pretty much in all Caucasian sport before that. He begins these commercials which by the way they distract people and they begin to realize — people start to focus on the marketing again. They said, “We need to focus on the product again.” They begin to focus on the service again. They begin to focus on the Enigma, the energy, the positive– They begin to focus on the Nike culture.

Nike by the way, age 74 now, becomes — He’s age 74, 2012. It becomes a 24.1 billion-dollar business. Phil Knight says this notable quote when they ask him, “Hey dude, your business is worth 24.1 billion. What do you have to say?” He says this, “America is becoming less entrepreneurial, not more. A Harvard Business School study recently ranked all the countries of the world in terms of their entrepreneurial spirit. America ranked behind Peru.”

Dr. Z: Ooh, that hurts.

Clay: Arthur. Why is that so scary for you and scary for us? Why are we so motivated to teach entrepreneurship? Why is it such a scary thing for people to no longer have that entrepreneurial spirit that they once had within America?

Stinger: You’re listening to the Thrive Time show on Talk Radio 1170.

Arthur: What’s going to happen is all the work is going to go somewhere else, to like Peru.

Clay: Peru. I’m just telling you because this is what I think, all right, in America right now. What makes America great is that we are in a country with no backup plan. You guys want to talk about American history. I’ll send you down a rabbit trail. It’s crazy. Go ahead and do it today. Sam Adams, who by the way there’s a beer named after him.

Arthur: I was going to say he was a beer guy.

Clay: Because he was always drunk. Sam Adams. This is what happens. Sam Adams was frustrated with the taxation from King George and the red coats, the British. He says, “Well, you know, guys.” He’s hammered most the time. Seriously, he was famous as a notorious drunk. He says, “Well guys, what we are going to do tonight is we’re going to go out. We’re going to paint a red X on the door of all the people that support the taxation and people who are sympathizers to the British, the Tories.” They’re called the Tories. They’re going, “Sam, that’s not a good idea because if we do that, they’re going to kill us.”

He’s like, “Uh, it’s cool. I can’t feel my face. I’m just pretty hammered but let’s go. Let’s go.” It’s like animal house where it’s like, “Was it all over with the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.” He’s just totally out of his mind. He goes out there and they pull an all nighter. True story. They begin painting on the doors of the people’s homes that were sympathizers to the British.

This would be like painting a Nazi swastika on the front of a business that is owned by a Nazi. It would be pretty damning to your business if you had a Nazi swastika painted on the front of your business. Imagine in today’s terms if someone painted a swastika on your business and you were a closet Nazi, all of a sudden people aren’t going to shop there.

Arthur: Yes, bad deal.

Clay: He created a bad problem. Long story short,

then there’s big melee that ensues in the streets. It’s unsure of who fired the first shot. But next thing you know, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, these famous people, Ben Franklin, they’re not really sure who said it, but one of them said, “Either we all hang together or we hang separately but a war is on.” We have no backup plan.

Dr. Z: No backup plan. We burn the boats, we put the X on the doors.

Clay: That’s how America started. There was no backup plan.

Dr. Z: That’s us.

Arthur: And there was beer.

Clay: I want to ask you this, when you started your business, Arthur, did you have a back-up plan and once you finally got your store after eight years working at Chick-Fill-A, did you have a back-up plan?

Arthur: No.

Clay: How did you go out there and market the business, man? How did you do it?

Arthur: It was, “If you want to survive, this is what we’re going to do, period.”

Clay: We have a brief interruption here on The Thrive Time Show. We have a caller here. Go ahead, caller. “Yes. This is Bernie Sanders here. I was going to ask Arthur, did you ever work more than 36 hours? Did you ever find yourself working over 36 hours, because that’s not ethical? Did you ever work over 36 hours? Bernie Sanders out. I’m going back to the [unintelligible 01:31:00].”

Arthur: You mean 36 hours in a day?

Clay: “How many hours a day were you working?”

Arthur: I was working 18, 19 hours a day. I’d go home, fall in bed. Go to sleep, get up early, go get it done.

Clay: Unethical. Z, did you ever more than eight hours a day?

Dr. Z: Of course I did. When you owned a business and at first you can’t afford many other employees, so you’ve got to do a lot of stuff. Listen, the entrepreneurs will say, “Well, I’m going to start this business and I’m going to just hire a bunch of people, they’re going to it all and I’m going to –“

Clay: “It’s my vision, bro. It’s my God’s gift by humanity, it’s my vision, bro.”

Dr. Z: I’m going to kick back. I’m the big thinker but I’m just going to kick back.” No, you’ve got to be the big worker. You’ve got to get in there and you’ve got to work. You’ve got to just work your little fingers to the little bone and just get it done. Then once you do that, then guess what? Then you could start hiring some people. Then you can start training some people. Then you’ve got your systems, your checklist, all the things that we teach you on the Thrive Time Show.

Clay: If you don’t even know where to start or maybe you have a business and you just don’t know how to take it to the next level, Z, we’ve got three options for the listeners right now. One, you can go to and there you will find the world’s best business school. We have thousands of videos, ridiculous amounts of templates, downloadables. We’ve captured the world’s best manager, Lee Cockerell, who managed Disneyworld, the world’s best PR guy, Michael Levine, he was the PR guy for Nike and Pizza Hut. I digress.

The point is, the world’s best business school, It’s $20 a month and if you can’t afford it, we have a scholarship program. Option number two, Z, is in-person workshops. Why are workshops so powerful, Z?

Dr. Z: It’s fun because you could come and meet other Thrivers. You could come and meet other people that are wanting to start and grow a business and that’s always fun, the energy in the room, the energy in Tulsa, as a matter of fact, electric. It’s a two-day shop, 15 hours. I don’t want to call you a liar over a dollar, but it’s only $19, by the way for

Clay: $19 a month. I’m a pathological liar.

Dr. Z: [crosstalk].

Arthur: I’m going with yours.

Dr. Z: You have break out groups. You shake a hand. You can meet some of the mentors. It’s a fun two-day deal.

Clay: One-on-one business coaching, why is it powerful?

Dr. Z: It’s powerful because you say, “Hey, listen, I’m serious about this. I’ve got some resources. Yes, I love binge-watching your videos on, but I want to be able to talk to someone. I want to be able to — I want to be able to sit down with someone face-to-face and absorb something and ask them questions.” One-on-one coaching.

Clay: Learn more at, and as always, Z and Arthur, three, two one, boom.

Dr. Z: Boom.

Arthur: Boom.

[01:33:38] [END OF AUDIO]


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