Business Coach | How to Fund the Growth of Your Business

Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

On today’s business coach podcasts we dive into how to fund the growth of your business. Are you struggling to find the funding you need to turn your dreams into reality? During this detailed training business coach, Clay Clark, and Dr. Z have Steve Curington of Total Lending Concepts on to talk about the methods Sam Walton, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos used to secure their initial funding.  This is an episode you do not want to miss.

Learn From The Business Coach On How To Find The Funds : Podcast Transcript

Clay Clark: All right, Thrive Nation, what is going on? Welcome back into the Thrive Time Show with your business coach, where we talk about how to grow and start a successful business. Maybe you’re listening right now, and you’ve always wanted to start a business. Maybe you have a business and you’ve always wanted to start producing a profit. You had this crazy idea to start a business, but you’ve always wanted it to actually produce a profit for you because Z, a crazy idea to start a business and want it to actually produce some fruit in your life, financially.

Robert Zoellner: That is not crazy. That is the exact reason why we do the Thrive Time Show. Hey, it’s Monday. It’s Martin Luther King day. I know everybody’s getting ready for lunch right now, you’re fired up. You’re headed to Oklahoma Joe’s, you’re thinking, “Where am I going to go.” Life’s good. Start the week and you had a great weekend. This week is a very special week.

Clay: It is a very special week, Dr. Z. Can you pontificate, could you elaborate as to why this week is so special, in addition to the festivities and the reverence surrounding the Martin Luther King day that we’re enjoying today?

Robert: Well, I have a dream. I have a dream that every business out there will succeed. You see, currently, 80%, that’s 8 out of 10 businesses — and in some publications that even call it higher than that — fail.

Clay: According to Forbes.

Robert: And I have a dream that we’re going to change that, Clay. You and I, with our business coaching platform, with our Thrive Time Show, that you’re listening to right now, thank you very much. This week’s event — this weeks event is a pretty special event. If you haven’t already made plans, what are you thinking?

Clay: What are you thinking?

Robert: This Friday, January the 20th, and Saturday, January the 21st, we’re doing an in-person workshop right here at the Thrive15 headquarters. The world headquarter for Thrive15. The epicenter of the entrepreneur excellence.

Clay: What we’ve done with this two-day interactive workshop, is we’ve packed in all the topics that you want to know the answers to. People are emailing and want to know, “How do I get to the top of Google? How do I do sales? How do I do marketing? How do I do social media marketing? How do I raise capital?” And so, Dr. Z, today, we’re going to just touch on how to raise some capital, but at the workshops, we’re going to go deep, my friend. We’re going deep.

Robert: Money. We’re going to talk about getting some money, money. I think, for those of you listening out there and you say to yourself, “I want to start a business. I want to do it.”

Clay: “How do I do it? What’s the deal?”

Robert: You need to come to this in-person workshop. I’m telling you, it’s life-changing. We have scholarships. Yes, we have local businessmen. We’ve partnered with actual local businesswomen too. Now, we’ve made scholarships to our — guess what?

Clay: What’s that?

Robert: You will not come because you can’t afford it. I promise you. I make that Thrive Time guarantee.

Clay: Wait a minute. Dr. Z, when I started my first business, I was working at Target. I was working at Appleby’s, I was working at DIRECTV. The move was you get in the car and you switch uniforms. You’re working at Target all day, so what you do is you switch uniforms en route to Appleby’s. And the way you do is after taxes, after paying the rent, after paying, you’ve got about, I don’t know, 50 bucks a week of discretionary income.

If this conference is any more than like seven bucks, maybe, I can’t afford it. Because I remember my wife when we started, we literally decided to intentionally turn off the air conditioning to buy our ads. We only had a couple hundred dollars of discretionary money available. Can I afford it?

Robert: Yes, you can. Because we have a little pool of money, we do have a pool of money.

Clay: A pool of money.

Robert: A pool of money that we want to distribute to people out there that say, “Hey, listen, I can’t afford the full price, but I can afford this.” And we say, “That’s perfect. You’re boom, here’s your ticket. Boom, you get yourself here, Friday the 20th.” And you can go on to and have all your questions answered., you get them all answered.

I tell you what, I think one of the most important breakout sessions that we’re going to do, we’re going to spend a lot of time, we’re really going to delve into this, time management.

Clay: Time management. How do you manage your schedule? I’ll just tell these thrivers, the guy next to me, we alway feature Oaklahomies who are in the know. These are Oaklahomies who know what they’re talking about. People who have local success stories who’ve been able to move beyond average, moving into that level of really achieving some big success locally.

Here we have a guy who’s just been doing great in the Tulsa mortgage banking industry. This guy’s learned to become an effective time manager, an effective salesperson, an effective search engine optimizer about your hundredth podcast, we have Steve Currington inside the box that rocks. Steve, how are you doing?

Steve: Awesome. [crosstalk]

Robert: Pump them up, Steve. Show them. Give it to them. If you’re watching Facebook Live, you just saw something that will change your life.

Clay: You’ve literally tattooed your name on your arms.

Steve: My website.

Robert: His website, which cleverly is his name so it’s not hard for him to remember. [laughs] What’s your website?

Steve: [crosstalk]

Robert: Could you read it from my arm because I can’t see it from here.

Clay: Now thrivers, we’re talking about this topic today, and we’re talking about the eight ways to fund your start-up or growth. The eight ways. Now, Dr. Z, there’s eight ways that are proven, tried and true moves to fund your business. I want to ask you this, Dr. Z, before we get into the eight ways. How in the world did you fund Dr. Robert Zoellner and Associates, because I know you grew up in a family where you didn’t have a lot of financial resources. Where you were, let’s call it poor.

Your first job was washing dishes. How did you get to a place where now you own a massive building in the same shopping center as Woodland Hills Mall. How did you first start, man? Where did you get that first money?

Robert: Well, I just walked into some random dudes and, “Hey, I need a lot of money.” And he said, “Sure man, you want cash?”

Clay: Wait a minute. Let me right that down. So you’re saying walk into a random dude-

Robert: You go into a random– you want it to be a rich dude, so you might pick a steakhouse or something. You don’t want a dude like a golden crow or something like that.

Clay: I’m going to go to a local steakhouse.

Robert: And you find a guy that’s ordering the big steak, the fancy stuff.

Clay: Would you recommend that I spend exclusive amounts of time over there at– what’s the Mahogany’s?

Robert: Yes, the Mahogany’s.

Clay: They love it when they’re just hanging out.

Robert: You just creep around and you slide in their boots, you say, “Hey, bro. I got a great idea. I just need some cash. [laughs]

Clay: I call it the money-making app. The next money for me and you. Do you want to do that?

Robert: And this is going to go viral. No. It’s a lot of steps. The first office I had, the first year I was at, I actually did something crazy.

Clay: What?

Robert: I did something crazy.

Clay: What did you do?

Robert: I got a job.

Clay: Oh my gosh. You’re talking about a job.

Robert: I know.

Clay: Dr. Z, I remember when I was a young kid, everybody had jobs. He’d walk uphill both ways, he’d walk through the snow. Back in the days, Dr. Z, people used to have jobs. Now people on Facebook, just Instagramming people saying, “Hey, uncle sent me some money. I’ve got an idea. I will go back to college. Don’t make me do it. I will go back to college.”

Robert: Yes, or I will continue living at my mom’s couch.

Clay: Fund me. Go fund me. I’m going through a personal tragedy right now. I’m not motivated. Go fund me.

Robert: Well, here’s the deal. The first year out, I didn’t have my own business, and so I worked for people. Worked seven days a week on the weeks that I could. I live below my means, and I save some money. Crazy. It sounds just bizarre, I know.

Clay: Back when I grew up, what would happen is you wouldn’t even feed, you wouldn’t even feed your kids because you want to teach somehow to be spartans. You just leave them in the woods, they would find their way back. It was amazing. [laughs]

Robert: The thing about it, so that after the first year, then the second year, I became a doctor next to an optical company. They helped me because I did eye exams, and I produced prescriptions. Then at the time the laws allowed that they could partner a little bit and help a little bit. That helped me get my start. Through a series of in touch, became the president of that company, ran it for a while.

Clay; You whacked a guy. You knew some people, next thing you know, you whack a guy. Boom, you’re in charge.

Robert: I knew a guy, about a thing, about a thing. And then I came back to Tulsa in 1996, and I started. I bought the land over there by one of those mall. Built that building by ’99, 2000.

Clay: There was land right there, vacant land.

Robert: There was land. I know, it’s a great story. Listen to the story. There’s an empty lot right there, right?

Clay: Yes.

Robert: And there’s a for sale sign. I told my real estate agency, “I want to buy that piece of property.” Goes, “Dude, you can’t get it. You can’t get it.”

Clay: “Bro, you can’t do it, bro.”

Robert: “You can’t get it.” I said, “Why?” He goes, “There’s already a contract on it with a backup contract on it.”

Clay: You were told, no?

Robert: I was told no.

Clay: And you pushed through?

Robert: Well, here’s what happened. There was a contract on it and a backup contract. I said, “Well, let’s put me as the third contract.” He goes, “Okay, all right, okay, okay.”

Clay: You want to be like Tom Brady? Fourth on the DEP chart, no one says never.

Robert: Yes, so they put me third. They put me third in line, and lo and behold, the first one fell through because of financing. They couldn’t get the money.

Clay: True blood self-injury.

Steve: Never happens at TLC.

Robert: The second one was a major, large company. I still don’t know today, but I think it was maybe like a Jiffy Lube or it was a Quaker Lube. Those places where they pull the cars and they do a quick lube.

Clay: Are you saying there’s a lube where they mix the quake of religion with a lube?

Robert: No.


Robert: Oh gosh. Is it going to be one of those days. Did we go on there already?

Clay: I don’t know. It’s just sometimes there’s a — it’s a spiritual battle we’re fighting.

Robert: Good thing I know Oklahoma Joe’s for lunch, because I feel so good. You can’t even pull me down today. What happened was that Jiffy Lube or the Quick Lube, they need to get– it wasn’t part of the PUD, the planned urban development thing to have a car thing there. They got ready to sign off of it.

Those are big companies to sign off on things. They’re getting to the end of their sixth month, or 60 days, or 90 days that they had on their contract, and so I saw an opportunity

Robert: And that they were trying to get an extension for theirs because it’s probably some matter of time before they got all the company to sign up. They’re big deal and they’re big companies, like Long John Silver’s, A&W Root Beer. Big conglomerates own that and they’ve got to go to a lot of — you know before they just signed off on things. I found out who own the property and I called her, she lived down in Dallas.

Clay: Oh, really?

Robert: I told her my story. I told her who I was. I offered her $10,000 more than they did. She said, “Done young man. I’m going to sell it to you”. Boom. Done. Done deal.

Clay: That’s how you did it.

Robert: That’s how I did it.

Clay: The thing is Thrivers, a couple things we can learn from that is, one, you had to start at the bottom. You just got to start with what you have. You got to start with the tools you have. Whatever resources you have, you got to start there. Two, just because someone says, no, doesn’t mean that’s a no. And I want to ask you, Steve, before we get into the eight proven methods to raise capital.

Steve Currington here,, one of Tulsa’s leading mortgage banker. Sir, I’m going to ask you, how did you get the capital to start your first business? I mean basically, did you start a band? Tour around the country? Charged a lot of money? Boom. How did you get started? What was you move?

Robert: On the spot.

Clay: On the spot. I have to ask.

Steve Currington: I actually got fired from my job.

Clay: What was your job?

Steve: I was a debt collector-

Clay: Really?

Steve: – before I got in the mortgage business.

Clay: Oh, wow.

Steve: and I got fired.

Robert: And you were keeping it. You’re keeping money. “That’s how I raise all my money. I was collecting debt. I just thought, “Why collect it? Might as well keep it.”” Right?

Steve: I seem to get fired a lot. I don’t do good work. [laughs] I don’t know what happens but — I’m just a grinder. I started out with my own office. Probably put myself in a little bit better position than most loan officers when they start. But I just grind. I just kept closing loans and I-

Clay: If someone’s to come work with your company? You’re now on top of Google. Every mortgage banker wants to come work with you. Seriously, I’m not bragging on you, but I’m bragging on you a little bit. You have a very nice car. You’re a Bently guy. They’ll kind of see around town. They see your nice office. They see you closing deals. They see you top of Google.

What does it cost if I want to become mortgage banker? What kind of money? What kind of investment if I want to change the game and become a mortgage banker?

Steve: It’s one of the cheapest investments ever. You’re literally looking at about $1,000.

Clay: A thousand dollars?

Steve: 20 hours of pre-license education. Take a test for $100. You’re basically in about $350 by the time you pay for that and then your license costs about $550.

Clay: Can somebody join your squad if they want to? Are you look to recruit some new teammates?

Steve: Yes, we’re always looking to recruit grinder producers. With or without experience because we don’t mind bringing in good sales people that want to learn. You can learn the business and we do not have a shortage of people that need a mortgage. We have lots of people that are calling us.

Clay: You’re you’re saying right now, if I’m listening right now and I’m going, “Hey, I’m making $38,000 a year, 38, 39, 40. And I’m going, “Hey, I want to make maybe $100,000 a year.” You’re saying that’s attainable in your industry.

Steve: Yes. If you originally loans at TLC and you don’t make $100,000 a year. Then you probably should go do something else.

Clay: That’s not very nice.


Robert: Wow.

Clay: It’s nice but not nice. It’s kind of weird how you sandwich that in there. Now, Thrivers when we come back we’re going to get into the eight specific proven moves to help you raise capital. There are these ways to raise money and there’re sort of this unicorn, not real ways to raise money. There are these ways people talk about raising money. But there’s eight way to actually go out there and get the money you need to start and grow a successful business.

Robert: Well I sure hope, pyramid schemes is one of eight because that’s always fun.

Clay: Pyramid schemes. Stay tuned.

All right Thrive nation, welcome back to your inspiration and practical eight education station. You see many of you are going, “Hey, I went to business school. I went to college. I’m happy with my degree. In fact, I wear the sweatshirt every weekend to celebrate the college I went to. Very happy without. I graduated debt-free. I was able to get scholarship. Have a good job. But I don’t know how to start my own business and I want to start my own business”.

Because Z, according to Forbes, there’s a large percentage of listeners who’ve secretly want to start your own business. You almost want turn it down because you might be listening to it, where you work right now. But according to Forbes, Z, 57% of people want to do what?

Robert: Start a business. I tell you what, If you’re not one of them look left, look right. It’s going to be both of them next to you. Like, “I have no desire to start a business.” Well then, your buddy you’re eating lunch with right now and listening to the show with, they want to start one. Your mom will say,that’s awesome.” Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m going to throw out a little factoid. Just a little quick facts. Did you know he was actually born Michael Luther King, Jr. and he changed his name into Martin? Did you know that?

Clay: I did not know that. I pride myself on knowing a lot of thing, but that was one thing I do not know, my friend.

Robert: It begs the question: if you change your name, are you still a junior? Because obviously junior means you’re named after your father and so he changed his name from Michael to Martin. I guess he took just took up the junior on there so.

Clay: This is a hole in a rabbit trail. You’ve always taken us down in a black hole of questions.

Robert: I don’t want to occupy a lot.

Clay: I don’t even know if I can trust the whole story. He was a junior. Now he is not a junior. Now, how does that work?

Robert: [laughs] No. No. He was born that. That what his name title, but I thought that was interesting. I didn’t know that either. I’ve been working on little factoids kinda spread throughout today’s show because in honor of him. I mean he’s a great man, his legacy.

Clay: I’m not going to sit there and try to compete with you. But I want to try it out. Do you?

Robert: Oh, no. We’re going down. [crosstalk]

Clay: This is a notable quotable from Martin Luther King, Jr. or whatever his name was.

Robert: We got to save it for the next segment. We can’t just poured it on right now. We got eight. We got a list. We got a lot of stuff to get through today and listen if you want to start your business, you need to know how to get money. This is important.

Clay: So here’s the deal, Thrivers. If you’re asking yourself, “How in the heck am I going to raise money to fund my dream?” Well, during today’s training, during today’s show, were going to teach you how Sam Walton did it.

Robert: Who’s that?

Clay: This guy started Walmart.

Robert: [laughs] I’ve heard it.

Clay: How about Sam’s club? Is that a thing. Warren Buffet. I’d never heard him. Jeff Bezos, you know Amazon? How they do it? So move number one, you have to write a bank — this an option, write a bankable business plan. Writing a bankable business plan.

Robert: Oh, man.

Clay: This is a move you only want to do if you’re willing to do the two things. One, you have to have a good reputation. If you’re listening right now and you’re like, “So I embezzled some money. If you Google my name, my criminal record does pop up pretty– It’s like number two and three on the first page. But the thing is that I’ve changed last week. I made some changes.”

Robert: [laughs] I’ve changed last week.

Clay: I’m just being real. That would not be the move. You know Jay-Z had a criminal record. He’s a good guy. He’s done well. He’s worth over $600 million now. But if your Jay-Z, this is not a move for you because he grew up-

Robert: [unintelligible 00:16:39]

Clay: He had a criminal record at the back, but just to start off with. But reputation. I want to ask you this, Steve. You help fund mortgages. Obviously, you’re a mortgage banker. is on the show here today. Steve, let’s say you’re trying to fund somebody. Give them a loan for their house. If you Google that person and their criminal record pops up and they’ve got a 450 credit score. What’s going through your mind as a mortgage banker?

Steve: They need to change some habits. Whatever they’re doing, I always tell people, “Whatever you’ve learned on how to take care of your credit and your bills is wrong, if you gotten that low, for that little credit score”. Now, if they’ve got a criminal record, I can’t really do anything about that. If they have a bad credit score, then that’s a whole different story. But it definitely is an indication of how they’re going to pay their mortgage.

Clay: Let’s say if I’m listening right now-

Robert: You’re going to just judge that book by its cover. I guess. Right? I mean you’re not going to give him a chance.

Clay: Let’s say Z and I, we’re 25-year-old guys and we’re just graduated from college. We’re roommates in college. We decide, “Hey, we’re two dudes. We want to come in and just buy a house, kind of startup house, somewhere by TU. What kind of credit score does somebody have to have to even get in the game-

Robert: Get the game.

Clay: – to buy a house? First house.

Steve: Well, believe it or not. You can have a 580, which is not a good credit score.

Clay: A 580. You can get in the game with a 580.

Steve: With a 580.

Clay: But if you’re rocking like a 450, we’re not in the game?

Steve: No. We’ve got a good credit repair program for people that are serious about changing their habits and cleaning up some of the stuff. There’s a lot of college guys there, just got out of college 25 that made some mistakes when they’re younger, that messed it up.

Clay: Here’s the deal. If you’re gonna go with the whole bank plan, Z. You have served on the board of a bank.

Robert: Yes, I have.

Clay: When you guys of looking at to fund somebody, you don’t really want to fund the business unless they almost don’t need money. It’s like they have to have a successful company.

Robert: It’s the darndest thing you’ve ever seen. I tell you what. When I first got out school, I try to buy a practice and it was pretty reasonable back then. Now that I’ve been in business now for 25 years, thank you very much Tulsa and green country by the way. Now that I’ve been in business a long time, this seems like a lot, but its like $240,000 to buy this business.

It was crazy to go in and be like, “You need money?” “Yes.” “Well, do you have any assets?” “Well, no. I’m just starting off.” “Do you have any?” “No. No, if I had that much money, I wouldn’t be in here trying to borrow from you.”

Clay: I’m just telling you, this is a move that you almost need to skip over. If one, you don’t have a solid reputation, a great credit score. This other move. You have to be willing to write what is called a pitch deck. Which we will provide you a template for at our in-person two-day workshops.

Robert: What’s that?

Clay: You go to thrive There you will see, we have the world’s best in-person workshops. It’s two days. It’s 15 hours and we will teach you how to raise capital. How to do sales. How to do marketing. I don’t care where you’re at in the business. Whether you’re starting a business. Whether you’re growing a business. We’ll teach you all the answers.

We’ll give you a proven pitch deck. But a pitch deck is a detailed summary of — first off, your big idea, two, who’s on your team. You can’t just be you against the world. Who’s on your team. Who works with you. Who’s part of your partnership? Then it gets into the problem you’re solving, and then the solution, and the technology. It’s a lot of details, you have to have a proforma. If you’re listening going, [mumbling] “What’s a proforma, man?” “Hey man, what’s a proforma? Do you know?”

Robert: “Hey man, I did a performance once the other day. I tell you what, I had these two spoons and I just jiggling them on my legs. It was pretty good. Is that what you’re talking about?”

Clay: “No, I’m talking about doing a proforma where you — what you do is you get into local Oklahoma Joe’s on there and you could get in there. There was this thing-“

Robert: “Yes, it’s on a barbecue sauce.”

Clay: “You get in there, you get a dip of that barbecue sauce. You’re having some of the baked beans. You’re getting out there. You get out, what you’ll do is you’ll do a proforma on that ukulele. That took something, I don’t expect that, expect the banjo but I ain’t going to be stereotyped. I get out that ukulele, I just-“

Robert: “I get my spoons and we’ll just get –” probably get some spoons out on Oklahoma Joe’s, I reckon.

Clay: That’s a proforma you ain’t going to forget, I tell you that.

Robert: I tell you what, you won’t forget it anytime soon. The baker sure won’t. You’re in there, you’re putting on your proforma for him and he’s saying, “Man, that’s good spoon-playing right there. I never thought you’d bring a ukulele in.”

Clay: Like I always say, you can put a perm on a frog but it’s just a perm on a frog.

Robert: It’s just a perm on a frog.

Clay: [laughs]

Robert: But I tell you what, you could a perm on a frog and teach it to play the spoons and the ukulele at the same time. Boy, you get yourself a deal.

Clay: [laughs] The thing is-

Robert: You’ve got yourself a deal.

Clay: – this is not-

Steve: Is it a proforma?

Clay: I’m kidding.

Steve: Isn’t that more of a financial thing? I don’t want to be the guy to —

Robert: Wait, wait, wait. Oh, my gosh.

Clay: Who brought the room down, man?

Steve: I didn’t want to ruin things but-

Robert: So, it wasn’t a performance, it’s a proforma?

Steve: Right.

Clay: I’m just saying, if you’re listening right now and you’re like, “I don’t know what that is,” then we need to move on to the next move.


Robert: No, no, no. Here’s the move, if you don’t know what that is, listen, and you can’t make the in-person workshop, okay, because you’d learn a lot there but I understand if you can’t make it. “Man, I got plans that week.” I get it, I get it, I get it.

Clay: I got a proforma going on.


Robert: Listen, we got a backup plan, go to,, we’re we have a CEO of Regent Bank, one of our new sponsors. Thank you very much Regent Bank, go do banking there. Sean Kouplen, he’s one of our mentors and he gets on there, and he explains all this.

Clay: He teaches all this stuff. Thrivers, move number one, just in summary, move number one to raise capitals. You could go out there and get a traditional SBA, small business administration bank loan or a bank loan but there’s other moves too. If that doesn’t work for you, we have seven more moves. Stay tuned.


If you’ve been looking for your audio dojo of business mojo, you have found it. If you’ve been just rubbing at that lamp, and you’re just going, “I’m looking for a business genie, somebody who has all the answers. I’m just looking for that somebody –” Boom, there he appears. It’s Dr. Rober Zoellner, the business genie of Tulsa. Wow.

Robert: The business genie, I’m here to grant you three wishes.

Clay: Three wishes.

Robert: They all better be, “How can I make money with my business?”

Clay: That’s wish one.

Robert: “How can I start my business?”

Clay: That one’s wish number two.

Robert: Today’s wish is going to be, “Hey man, how do I get some money, some jack to get my business going? Because that’s my thing right here. I’m sitting here eating lunch and I’m listening to you. I’m getting fired up. It’s 2017, it’s a new year. It’s a holiday. Martin Luther King Jr.” You might be off today. I don’t know or you could be playing hooky, you could be doing that. You could be strategizing today on how to start your business. You’re like, “I’m going to listen to Thrive Time Show because those guys are going to inspire me and they’re going to fire me up.”

Clay: Speaking of fired up, we’ve got a guy on the show today, he’s always fired up. I’m not saying the guy never has a down moment but he understands the concept of show time, bringing positive energy, enthusiasm. He’s on the top mortgage bankers in Tulsa. Why should you care? Well, if you’re trying to get financing for your house, you need to go to That’s

There you’re going to find a guy who’s really become one of the gurus of mortgage banking in the Tulsa area. It’s Steve Currington. Steve, how are you?

Steve: Good. How are you Clay?

Clay: Man, I tell you what. Z, do you smell it? [sniffing] I smell success and pinyon wood in preparation for the two-day, 15-hour Thrive Time workshops. We now have the pinyon wood out there. It is smelling good, brother.

Robert: Dude, I tell you what, you’re going to be literally and figuratively fired up when you show up because that pinyon wood, that just warms your soul. That fires you up –

Clay: I’m going to be sleeping out there tonight.

Robert: – endorphins, dopamine being fired off in your brain. When you smell that pinyon and you know life’s good.

Clay: Now, here’s move number two on how to raise capital. This is move number if you’re trying to raise capital. This is the Ramen noodles, three jobs, and living below your means method. I’m going to repeat, someone should right that down. The Ramen noodles-

Robert: Ramen noodles.

Clay: – three jobs-

Robert: Ramen noodles, three jobs.

Clay: – and living below your means method. Steve I’m going to start with you. Have you ever had to live below your means in order to fund your business?

Steve: Yes, when I first started I came from a job where I was making really good money.

Clay: Really good money.

Steve: The first year in the mortgage business, I made about 13 grand but I had a wife, a mortgage –

Clay: [laughs] 13 grand.

Steve: – two kids.

Clay: That’s hot.

Steve: Yes, it was hard, you just had to learn — I figured out after my first year that — maybe a year and a half, I was 1099 at the time, so then it was like, “I got paid and now I got to pay taxes because –“

Clay: Pay taxes? What taxes?

Robert: Tax man.

Steve: They were taking taxes out of my check. You get yourself in a little bit of trouble if you’re doing that but yes, man, sometimes you just have to — I think a lot of people maybe just — they talk about it but maybe you’re not just willing to do what it takes to skimp down, and get real thin, and real cheap so that you have the money to do what you need to do.

Clay: Now, Z, typically when a man tells his story, if you’re around other men, what you want to do is you want to one up the other man. But I’m going to go lower, I’m going to submarine you, I’m going to try to take things lower.

Robert: Before you go lower on his story, would you go higher on my story? I pushed it to this segment but you’re killing me about my Martin Luther King, little nugget.

Clay: Okay, I’m going to let you go higher. You take it higher then I go lower. It’s going to be like a high pressure level. It’s like a tornado.

Robert: No, no, no I did RS. He was born Michael and he changed his name to Martin, I did not know that.

Steve: You said you could top him, you said you could top that.

Robert: You said, I’m going to top that so-

Clay: Okay, I’m going to give it to you now Thrivers. A lot of times, people they look at Martin Luther King Jr. and they look at the success he achieved in the civil rights movement. They say he was a great speaker, that was the deal. That wasn’t the deal. Well, there’s two things that made him successful.

One, is his commitment to preparation was on another level. Homey would practice his speeches over, and over, and over, and over, and over to the point where he could not get them wrong. It wasn’t like practice until perfect, it was practice until he couldn’t be anything but perfect.

Steve: Wow.

Clay: He, out of frustration said these words and — that you can Google them and find them, it’s amazing.

Clay: Again, he’s frustrated because the reason why, just so you know, the reason why the cameras where there — If you’ve ever seen the Selma, there’s a scene there, I showed it Sam, one of our producers this morning. There’s a scene where he organizes a group of people to walk across the bridge but why did he choose Selma? Was it random? No, he realized that one of the most racist police officials on the planet called Selma his home. That was what he was in charge of.

He made sure that he was careless on purpose to tap his own phone. They were tapping his phone, and he knew it, and he was saying, whispering on the phone, “Make sure that nobody knows we’re going to march on Selma. I don’t want the media there, we want to keep this down-played.” The media’s there, the racist police officer’s there. He made sure that everybody’s there because he wants the cameras there, because he wants America, the north to witness the atrocities of the south. He did this consistently.

He says this, this is his notable quote that blew my mind, I read it the first time, he says, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains –” Here we go. This is —

Robert: Here we go, here we go, here we go.

Clay: “Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”


He just took us to the woodshed there. That was deep.

Robert: I know, I feel a little-

Steve: Ouch, gave me chills.

Clay: Here’s the thing Thrivers, is I’m going to share this story about living below your means. My wife and I, we had a vision to do more than normal. My wife is a wonderful lady, she had a vision to do more than normal. I don’t know if you care Thrivers, this is an example.

Today, I’m planting 18 pine trees to block the view of people that I don’t invite over to my house. I want to block the road, block all things, so 18 trees is going in, okay? Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there’s food, shelter, then you move up. Maslow, what’s that? If you studied Psychology 101, there’s a guy named Maslow and he determines basically, you don’t have a big need to learn a skill if you’re trying to feed yourself. You start off with food, the need for food, then shelter, and you move up.

Self-actualization is where you want to become the best that you can be. Planting 18 trees on a Thursday, or Friday, or just because I’m excited to plant a tree on a Monday, that’s high on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs but at first, you’re just trying to feed yourself. You’re just trying to make it.

Robert: Yes, just trying to make it.

Clay: I remember, I told Vanessa, “We have to buy ads. We’ve got to get more leads. We got to get more leads, man. Get more leads.”

Robert: Get more leads, leads turn into money.

Clay: I’m looking at the budget and I’m going, “Okay, the kid got the mini storage. We didn’t have TV, so we couldn’t turn it off because we didn’t have any. This is it babe, here’s the deal, we’re going to turn off the air-conditioning.” This is June.

Robert: In Tulsa.

Clay: In Tulsa.

Robert: Ouch.

Clay: She goes, “What?” “Until we get to X number of — I wanted to get to $4,000 a week of sales, “then I said, “We can turn it back up.” She’s like, “Let’s do it.” We did it, we teamed up and we did it. But I’m just saying — we literally, she walked to Oral Roberts University and Office Depot from her apartment at 71st and Louis, the Fountain Crest Apartments. We joked but we said we’ll get anything for our dates, we’d say, “We’d get anything we want tonight in the budget gourmet section,” which is-

Steve: Nice.

Clay: – 96 cents. It’s chicken panini. If you look at the back of — Go to Walmart tonight and find yourself some of the budget gourmet, chicken panini it’s like 70% sodium. And dude, ramen? Where is it ramen kind of a man to man favorite? You guys like ramen? Ramen noodles?

Robert: I lived on them for a couple years back then.

Clay: [laugh]

Steve: Dude, you could cook your ramen without even putting them in an oven or stove in your house without the air on.

Clay: No, I’m not kidding but-

Steve: Just like you save money on that too.

Robert: [laughs]

Clay: One of our friends gave us candles as a wedding gift. When they came home and all of our wedding candles have melted and they’re like, “What’s going on?” Real talk, Sharida, a guest on the show, consistently one of our co-hostesses, she remembers that. You come to the Clark house, window on floor number two. You’d go upstairs, Z, in Tulsa, in July, no air conditioning. Dude, it’s like 110 up there.

Robert: We cook eggs in that stuff.

Clay: It’s unbelievable. Z, we were newlyweds. We are living on love. We are living on love.

Robert: Hot love. Hot love with that.

Clay: Hot loving.

Robert: Hot loving.

Clay: Now, Thrivers when we come back though, we’re going to get into this next move. This is move number three and this is the Jeff Bezos, Sam Walton, and Warren Buffett move. If you want to know how Jeff Bezos, Sam Walton, Warren Buffet raise their money. We’re going to tell when we come back.

Z, we are talking today about this concept. This concept of how to get the cash that you need to start and grow a successful business. Dr. Zoellner, I want to ask you, sir, because you’re obviously now you’re a doctor, you have multiple businesses. You have an optometry business. It’s done very, very well for 25 years and you have an auto auction that’s doing well.

You’ve invested in a bank. You a have a horse breeding facility. A to Z medical– okay so you’re involved is some businesses. In honesty, I mean in not a braggadocios way, but you make more in a day than some people might make in a month. Or a year.

Robert: Well, yes. You look around the world and maybe even more than that. With our and I think called the internet. People could be listening to us all over the world.

Clay: A lot of people are listening right now and they go, “Z, wouldn’t it be nice if I had the money needed to do what I want to do. I want to start a business, but wouldn’t be nice, Z”.


Robert: Oh, it’ll be great. It’ll be fantastic. I’ll tell you what it look. If I just could get that starter money. If I could just get that nastag. If I could just get my award chess then I could change the world. Change my stars. Change life. If I could just get that money.

Clay: You have this vision though to build your business and you’re saying if I just had that money I would do it. We have an incredible guest on the show today. Mr. Steve Currington. I’m going to ask asking you a question just a second Steve. I want to pick your brain on this. We’re getting into the Jeff Bezos, Sam Walton, and Warren Buffett method. This is where you-

Robert: This was kind of scary by the way.

Clay: This is where you go to family and friends.

Robert: Yes, scary move.

Clay: And ask him for a little help. Sometimes you got to get a little help from your friends. I going to start with me and I want to ask you, Steve. I want to ask you Z. Here we go. The question is: Would you be willing to go to family and friends to raise money for your business? Family and friends. I hope you’ll say, “Well, I’ll go to a bank or an anonymous group, but to go to family and friends.”

Now here’s the deal. I would never ask my family and friends to invest in a business unless I believe in it. I would never go out and use your money and not mine. I always have some skin in the game.

Robert: Skin in a game.

Clay: Year’s ago, there’s a party rental company that was available to be purchased called Party Perfect. And I realized that I had the skills, the team, the tools, everything needed to take that company from — I believe to be very good to great. I don’t remember what the sales price was, but you need to come up with a half a million dollars of money. Rather than just go into a bank — because I didn’t want to deal with that and I said, “Hey, here’s the deal. Family and friends, I’m going to put up my own money. I want to put a couple of hundred thousands dollars of my own money into this. And whatever I put in, I want to know it you’ll match it”.

Yes, that’s my whole goal. I want to match it. My father-in-law, he was like, “Hey, I’ll put in X amount, if you put in, I’ll put an X amount”. I didn’t feel bad about it all and as I told them this might take a while to get it where it needs to go. He did it. I promised him a 20% return on his money. He made a 20% on his money. It took a little bit longer than what he expected to take. But he made his money back and then I went ahead and paid him a little extra because it took a little longer.

Robert: That’s nice of you.

Clay: And then, when I was growing epic photography. We’re growing at a just a big, big rate and he checked it out, reached out to me and said, “Hey, because the way you treated me before”, he said, “I want to know, can I invest in that company?”

Robert: One of the big things, I always get asked by doctors that I bring on my team and I go, “Hey, can I partner with you in your optometry clinic?”, and I always say to them, “No”. A couple of things. One, I always have a controlling interest so there’ll always be a buy-out clause. Number two, valuing it now that’s an ongoing company is challenging and difficult at best with. We could both venture back numbers all day long and not agree to something.

But I tell you this, if you’re a good employee and you hang in there, and you’re long term doctor with me, when I started a new business, I’ll give you the opportunity. When I started Dr. Z’s Sleep Center, which is a diagnostic sleep center, about 12 years ago. I took all my doctors out to dinner. I lay up the plan for them and say, “Hey, listen. You don’t need to do this, but I’m going offer this opportunity to you.”

And we raised $100,000 to get going and they were all like, “Sign me up. Sign me up. Sign me up”. I get them the opportunity, they were friends and family. Like you said, every time I started a business at that point, they are like, “Hey man. Hey bro. Can I get some of that?”

Clay: Here’s the deal. Steve, I want to get your take on this. But Jeff Bezos, he started Amazon. We all know that he’s trying to take over the world and he’s doing great now financially. But Jeff Bezos, he couldn’t get very many investors to say, yes. He’d been rejected by everybody.

Robert: Really?

Steve: Yes.

Clay: He goes to mom and dad, and he says, “Mom, Dad I’m trying to start an online bookstore.” This how I imagine the conversation going. If you get a chance to Google it, It’s very well documented. You can read this stuff. His dad basically says, publicly he says, “I believe in you, son. And if you’re telling me you’re going to put in your own money, you can office at the garage and your mom and I are going to liquidate our entire life savings. $300,000 that’s all we can do”, and he goes, “We won’t lose this.”

It was like a galvanizing moment for the family and he talks about it. In today’s money, I’m not kidding, his mom and dad, their $300,000 investment is now worth like several billion dollars.

Robert: Oh, yes.

Clay: Billion.

Steve: Wow.

Clay: That’s a thing. Then Sam Walton went to Claremore and he went out there to his father-in-law, multiple times. He was like, “I love your daughter, Helen. Please invest in my business.” His first business was not Walmart, it was Ben Franklin.

He’s out there in Claremore with his zebras. He’s out there, hanging out there by RSU going, “Please, please invest in my-“, and finally, I’m sure they just were worn out. They’re like, “Okay, we’ll do it”. And that’s how he got started.

Robert: Well, you know the zebras. I’ve never understood why their colors are red and white. They’re in Claremore. Someone from Claremore, please email me and let me know. Their colors are red and white and they’re the zebras. Shouldn’t they be black and white? I don’t know. I don’t know.


Clay: I fell like. I feel. I move on a tangent real quick. I think RSU if they knew what’s up. And if you’re listening right now and you’re going, “I know what’s up. What are you say that?” If you’re an RSU and you’re on the board of whatever you’re on the board off and you know what’s up. Helen Walton is from that city. You need to rename that beast right now. Call it like Helen Walton University because you know they’re going to build some nice stuff. Look up the billionaire list, there’s a lot of Walton’s in there.

Robert: Absolutely. Now, I want to tell you something that scary about the friends and family move. What scary for Sam Walton had to be, he did that move, got money and he went broke.

Clay: Yes. Yes. Broke

Robert: He went broke. How’s that Thanksgiving when you’re like, “Carol can you pass the potatoes?” [crosstalk]

Clay: “Carol can you pass the potatoes?”

Robert: “Good news, I’m going to get back on that horse again. Bad news is I’ve got to buy a horse.”

Clay: This is how the prayers are going, Z, they’re going, “I just want to thank everybody for this thanksgiving. I want to thank you both for being here and thank you for thanksgiving. Thank you for everybody except for Sam”. And we’re so-


Robert: [laughs] You think about it, though, I mean Sam went what, bust a couple three times.

Clay: Yes. Everyone was saying Walton was crazy as he built the Ben Franklin store. It was doing very well. But didn’t look at his lease. And so the landlord just came up to one day and say, “Hey, your lease, I’m longer renewing it, so as of tomorrow, I own the building and all the contents here. I’m going to keep the same name and the same customers and the same staff. But you can’t work here and it’s my business”, and he’s like, “What?”

Robert: “What?” Ouch.

Steve: Yes.

Clay: Steve, I want to ask you. Have you ever been in business, either personally gone to family and friends to come to raise some money to get going or do you know somebody who has? Talked to me about the family and friends move.

Steve: Yes. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do that.

Clay: Oh, really?

Steve: I just haven’t yet.

Clay: Judger.

Steve: It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. I think part of what you said in the beginning on step one was reputation. I think that plays into, especially with family and friends. You got to make sure that you’ve got a reputation of having some successes because I was at a [unintelligible 00:39:24] just like you said with your father in law, once you had some success, obviously he was there. But if he didn’t find you from the get-go to be competent enough to help him get that 20% return, there would be no chance. He’s not going to say, “Okay buddy. Here’s $200,000”

Clay: I’m going to tell you this. If you’re gonna go to family and– Z, this is kind of like — it seems like I’m only endorsing this method, but work me on this. One of your business rules is you want to be the what at breakfast, my friend. What do you want to be?

Robert: The pig. It’s number two in my book. Chapter two is you want to be the pig at breakfast and not the chicken, and what that means. What that means, listening audience, is that you want to be committed, I mean absolutely committed to the process. And when you find someone who’s committed to the process, when you find someone that’s putting their own money in the game, skinning the game and you find someone with the passion to do that thing and they’re selling you on it, I’ve invested in a lot, I’ve given money to people to start up some stuff. I’ve been that friend, if you will, that’s given money.

Clay: I feel like if you’re not willing to be the pig at breakfast to be totally committed for your business, if you’re not that kind of person that, I’m not saying you have to go to family and friends, I’m just saying that if you don’t believe in your business so much that you would go to family and friends if you had to, then you should get the heck out of business, that’s my take.

Robert: True story, I had a young man who’s an acquaintance, came to me and wanted some mentorship and I gave it to him. He was going to start a clothing store.

Clay: Clothing store?

Robert: Clothing store, fashionable men’s clothing, I thought, “Okay.”

Clay: That’s going to be great.

Robert: He got his ID. He got his spot. He needed some coaching and mentoring on the lease, I gave him a few tips and next thing you know, he’s got a store open and running, very proud of him, did awesome.

Clay: Boom.

Robert: Shortly thereafter he’s like, he came to me one day. He was just frustrated, I could tell. I said, “What’s wrong man?” He said, “Oh, bro man, it’s hard to find good help because I don’t want to work in the evenings, I don’t want to work on the weekend and you know, weekends are when we’re the busiest and it’s hard to find good help.” I go, “Time out. You don’t want to work at the evenings.” “Yes, bro man, you know.”


Clay: “I’ve got a lot was going on, movies on load, I want to watch all of them tonight.”

Robert: “I started this business to make a bunch of money, not for a job, man, what are you talking about.” I’m like, “Oh, bro you’re being the chicken and not the pig.”

Steve: That’s right.

Clay: Thrivers, If you’re listening right now and you’re going, “Okay, okay, what are the other moves? What are the other of eight moves to raise capital?” When we come back, we’re going to teach you, there’s just it, move number four.


Hello, Thrive Nation. Welcome back to the Thrive Time Show where we are broadcasting from the west coast of the Arkansas river with inside, we’re inside the world headquarters and inside the box that rocks, which is located in the centre of the universe, right here in the midwest in Z, we can be heard now in Chattanooga. We can be heard in Chattanooga. to Tennessee my friend, That’s just it.

Robert: Chattanooga choo choo, isn’t there a song about that?

Clay: You don’t like the-

Robert: I was thinking that, when you get that song, put it on our break.

Clay: Do you know who has just reached out to us about putting on the show, syndicating the show, do you know what–? If you had to guess what city and I will give you a tip, a little hint.

Robert: Give me a hint. Give me a hint, because you haven’t told me this yet. You always are so slow with the information with me.

Clay: It is a city that, it’s owned by Didca.

Robert: The Bears.

Clay: This is potentially Chicago, Chicago.

Robert: That’s a big city. I think you shouldn’t just pass them in being the third most popular city in the country and I think they’re now number four and when I googled that to confirm that, but I think that just happened.

Clay: The feedback we’re getting from people all across the country, is they’re saying, “Hey, there’s finally a show where you’re giving me the business school without the bs. You guys actually own businesses, like now, you currently own them, you’re not just talking about the theory of owning a business.”

Robert: No, Chicago’s still number three by the way.

Clay: Number three.

Robert: Sorry Chicago. One love, Chicago love.

Clay: And here’s the deal Thrivers, we’re teaching today specifically on this concept of how to raise capital to start or grow your business Z, how to start or grow.

Robert: I’ll tell you what, I just talked about before the break, someone who started a business and wasn’t committed to it and it led to the demise because one of the things that just irks me about this world is that 80% of people that start a business and it’s not easy to start a business. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into that okay? 80% fail. Fail. One of the biggest reasons why-

Clay: Why?

Robert: We’ve talked about it before, they’re underfunded. They can’t weather a storm and they start off. They got a great idea. They got a great widget. They’re selling their thing. They’re out there making calls. They’re doing their thing about their thing and the next thing you know, they’re starting to grow a little bit and they don’t have money to fund it. They don’t have money to get their three legged advertising stool completely built and running well. It drives me crazy, someone starting a business and they go, “I can’t afford advertising.’

Clay: There’s jerks like you and me watching Ted talks wanting to learn how to self-actualize and build a successful, take your personal life to the next level, and then there’s many entrepreneurs right now who woke up this morning looking in the mirror saying, “Show me the money.”

Robert: They just want the money. Show me the money and everybody thinks these moves are awesome and we break them down in further detail. We give you templates and we help you design and build some of these moves. Obviously, like the moves in the last segment, we talked about going friends and family and you just don’t sit down with them one day at Thanksgiving dinner as your passing the pumpkin pie and the potato and said, “Hey, man, I like stamp and say a little something over the turkey.”

Clay: “Got a little something I want to say.”

Robert: “Yes. I got a great business idea.” No, you want to have the same measure that you would take to a bank, the same measure of professionalism that you would from a banker-

Clay: Come on.

Robert: If you go to SBA loan.

Clay: Preach it.

Robert: You also want to have to your friends and your family– You want to have you cred together and we can help teach you how to get your stuff together so that you’re not just sitting there at Appleby’s one night, over a entrée or whatever you sit down and get your buddy and go, “Hey, man I got this great opportunity for you.”

Clay: “Hi, man I drew this-“

Robert: “Hey, bro, I’m going to get this coffee shop going and-” “Well, you got a business plan?” “No, bro, but I’ve got a business idea.”

Clay: “It’s more of a vision.”

Steve: You get treated as the latest MLM.


Robert: You see their shaking-

Clay: Man sorry what?

Robert: “I’m doing this for you bro, because I love you bro, like you’re a brother, bro.” But if you don’t get your act together, they go, “Do you have a business plan?” “What?” “You don’t have a potential, what do you think your sales are going to be, year one?” “What? What? What?”

Clay: You can put a perm on a frog, but you can’t put a cap on my business plan. What does that mean?

Robert: Anyway so you–

Steve: Can you put a perm on your business plan though?

Robert: We’re talking about move number three, going to friends and family. You still have to have the level of professionalism and you’ve got to have the forms, you’ve got to have the step, the paperwork, you got to be able to impress them that you’re not just out there just like, “Yes, man, I got this big idea and I just need a couple hundred thousand and I’ll make it happen.”

Clay: Now, Thrivers, let me tell you this. If you’re listening right now and you’re going, “Okay, I got my move one, I got my move two. Move three, well, bath and clean up. Move number four. This is the credit card method. Now a lot of people when they hear credit cards. This is what I think a lot of peole are– This is the sound, the feeling, the mindset. When a lot of people, when they think about credit cards, they think about this. They think about going out to parties, they’re trying to, “Hey drinks are on me bro, bro, drinks are on me bro”

Robert: “I think that’s some limit bro. Let’s do it.”

Clay: Let’s do it, man. They’re going, “Hey man, I just got this no interest for 18 months. You guys want to go to Bahamas?”

Robert: “Let’s do it, baby. Come on.”

Clay: “Bahamas, Bahamas, Bahamas, Bahamas, Bahamas. Let’s do it.” But this could be a legitimate method to fund the business. We have Steve Currington, a living legend of mortgage banking in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the Box

Robert: Show the guns, Steve, show them, pop those guns.

Clay: Gun Show.

Robert: Got a little gun show there. He actually has his website tattooed on his inner bicep.

Clay: That’s being the pig at breakfast.

Robert: That’s committed. I mean he’s all in there. Is that a wipe-off kind? Did you-

Steve: No, it’s for real.

Clay: It’s for real, for real, Z.

Steve: I’m for real

Clay: Now I want to ask you this because — Z, I ask you this often but I want to ask you this Steve. With your business as it began to grow, the business is growing, you have TLC Mortgage right now. I mean you guys are growing. You guys are growing successfully. How many states are you in right now?

Steve: Six.

Clay: Six. I often talk to Dr. Z on the show about funding and raising capital, these things. Right now, you’re buying a ton of flat-screen TVs. You bought how many flat screen TVs the other day for your new office, how many?

Steve: Yes, well we bought a few of them. We bought some, yes. You wouldn’t believe how cheap flat-screens are now though.

Clay: But you’re buying these things, you’re buying furniture, you got to buy decows for the windows.

Steve: I’ve got my computers.

Clay: Computers. There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to buy and the thing is, if I’m a listener right now and let’s say that I’m not as well-funded as you guys and I’m in one city and I’m doing pretty well, I’ve already got my house. I’ve already got you know good life, I’ve got good credit score, I have good cash flow and I don’t have enough money to fund everything up-front with cash. Is there anything wrong with doing a little, little credit card funding game. What is your thoughts on that? I want to hear your feedback.

Steve: No. I think credit’s there to use it and actually, credit cards, the revolving credit that you have, represents about 30% of your credit score. If you did max out a credit card in order to fund your business and you had a higher balance on it, it could affect your score negatively but you just have to plan for it, you got to plan what the deal is but you know another thing along are in credit cards is — and we’ve done this for a lot of people, is they re-finance and get the equity, get cash out of their-

Clay: Okay, go tell us, educate us about home equity line my friend.

Steve: Here we go. A home equity line of credit works a little bit different than if you just had a straight cash out re-finance. A home equity line of credit is a working line that you can get against — your regent bank can do that for you. You got some equity in your property-

Clay: I’m going to try to break it down, like I don’t know what you’re talking about, because I know, some people have heard the word HELOC, the phrase HELOc or Home Equity Loan. They go– I have a house that’s worth $200,000 let say, and I’ve paid off 50, so I have $50,000 of equity. $50,000 I’ve paid off of the loan. Now I have — my home’s worth $200,000, I owe 150, how much of a home equity line can I get?

Steve: In a traditional, if you did a traditional re-finance, you’re going to be maxed to 80 to 85% of the loan value. You might be maxed at 160 which isn’t going to get you much however some banks would give you that home equity line of credit, which they may allow you to go up to 85%, 90%.

Clay: That’s a move.

Steve: It is. That’s a move.

Clay: You may be sitting right now in the capital you need to fund your business right now. But again, if you’re not willing to be the pig at breakfast, don’t get into business. You’re going, “I would never want to risk my house.” I’m just going to tell you because we’re talking about the method here. We’ve talked about the Jeff Bezos, the Sam Walton, the Warren Buffet, we’re talking about the credit card method here. If you don’t believe in your ideas so much that your willing to take out a home equity line for it, I don’t think you should be in business. I mean that. I don’t think you should.

Steve: Well and you shouldn’t — the friends and family thing we talked about, you shouldn’t even feel comfortable asking someone else to invest in it if you don’t believe in it enough to that you’ve already tapped your own resources.

Clay: I’m going to challenge you. I’m going to challenge you.

Robert: Okay, we’ve got the first challenge flag thrown on the show.

Clay: This is the challenge.

Robert: First challenge flag.

Clay: I’m going to attack Steve Currington right here on the air.

Steve: Physically?

Clay: Here we go. I have seen this numerous times where you have either said — I can’t quote you, I don’t want to mess it up. But the thing is, you’ve told people you fund mortgages the fastest and nobody is going to get it done better than you in Tulsa. I’ve heard you say these things. Do you really believe that?

Steve: Yes, I believe it.

Clay: There’s other people like, “Were pretty competitive,” but you say that.

Steve: Yes, we have a 21-day closing guarantee and we honor that. You got to believe in who you are and what you’re doing, and you got to be passionate about it, and you’ve got to get the buy in of your team. That’s what we do instead of it just being a quote on the wall or a value that everybody looks at when they walk down the hallway.

Clay: Z, we have a lot of Dave Ramsey listeners who love our show.

Robert: Love the show.

Clay: I love Dave Ramsey. I love Dave Ramsey. There’s a lot of things that Dave Ramsey says. He talks, hey, about telling your money where to go, versus asking where it went. That’s a budget.

Robert: That’s called a budget.

Clay: He talks about the importance of living below your means. We agree on that.

Robert: Absolutely.

Clay: He talks about having reserved fund, an emergency fund. He talks about being debt free. Maybe I disagree right there. Here we go. I want to ask you Z, do you ever hear someone who’s hardcore going, “I’m going to be debt free. I’m going to be debt free. I’m going to be debt free.” You’re going, “Buddy, you’re never going to start a business.” Have you ever heard that before? You ever felt like that?

Robert: Drives me crazy. Yes, I’ve heard people say that. They’re like, “I just want to get out of debt.” I’m like, “Debts not a bad thing if it’s managed properly and you’re doing it to further yourself down the road. It’s called borrowing money.” Someone said to me, they said, “Man, you’re buying all this stuff, doing all this stuff and business and buildings, and all this, or starting businesses and buying –” Anyway, you get what I’m trying to say.

Clay: Yes.

Robert: They go, “Man, don’t you just want to be out of debt?” I go, “No bro, I want to leverage other people’s money to make money to grow businesses because that’s where it is.” The one of these days when I’m getting ready to slow down and retire, then I’ll worry about getting out of debt, getting things paid off. There’s also when you’re borrowing money and you can write the interest off on your tax returns, so you know your almost encouraged to build and to grow. The credit move, it sounds like — Well, that’s not the first choice but it is a choice.

Clay: Right, I think a lot of people though worry. Trying to be debt free when you’re starting a business is — There’s a lot of women, a lot of men out there — Z, you’re 52, right?

Robert: Yes, sir.

Clay: I’m 36, I own that, okay? I’m 36 and — You know Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, how he’s decided that he —

Robert: Yes, well I’ve never met him but I do know who he is.

Clay: He’s decided he wants to look like 50 but he’s like 70.

Robert: That’s okay, he can.

Clay: But I’m saying is you know he’s done some surgical enhancements to try to look like he’s 50, right?

Robert: Well, I think HIPAA violations, I don’t know for sure but I’m just saying, I don’t know.

Clay: I’m just saying is he’s setting an unrealistic expectation for his face and we all are going, “Homie, can’t — “

Robert: [laugh] Bro, it does come out. You’re hating on the Cowboys. Just call it what it is.

Clay: No, I’m just saying —

Robert: Because we’re coming after the Patriots this year.

Clay: I’m just saying, it’s a thing of like, it’s okay to age. It’s okay to go through some stuff. It’s okay to have a little bit of credit card debt when you’re building your business. It’s part of the game if you’re going to —

Robert: It is part of the the game. That is a funny example to bring up and here’s the topic.

Clay: He can’t even close his eyes anymore.


Robert: Stop. Mr. Jones, don’t listen to him. You’re a fine American.

Steve: I love the Cowboys.

Robert: The Cowboys are going to Super Bowl this year. You’ve done a great job building that team. Now, listen —

Steve: He’s had his eyes open the whole time, that’s how he did it.

Robert: Come on, come on now. Hey, if the Patriots and the Cowboys are in the Super Bowl, we’re going to Houston. Were going to Houston. Let’s just call it out right now. We’re going. Fist bump. We just fist bumped. That’s a thing.

Clay: Unbelievable. Really, we’re going. I am so excited. I’m excited about this.

Robert: Odds are they’re going to. They both have home fields throughout it.

Clay: You just said it, thrivers, this right here is — you have your marriage, you have the birth of your kids, and then you have a prophetic and Z delivers on what he says. He says we’re going to Houston for the Super Bowl and this is going to happen. It’s going to be the Patriots and Cowboys.

Robert: The Patriots and Cowboys in the Super Bowl, we’re going.

Clay: This is a lock. This is the perfect moment. Steve Currington’s in the booth. You’re in the booth. [laugh]

Robert: It’s a Martin Luther King Day, it’s just emotional. Tomorrow is a roller coaster.


Clay: Go to while I get my stuff together. Go to Thrive Time Show while I get it together. When we come back, we’re going to teach you move number five on how to raise money to turn your business funding dreams into reality.


All right thrive nation, welcome back into the conversation, where we are talking today about specifically how to fund your business dreams. We’ve all had those visions of, “Man, wouldn’t it be nice, wouldn’t be a great –“

Robert: [sings] Wouldn’t it be nice if —

Clay: [sings] If I had the money to fund my business without living in a van. Wouldn’t it be nice, to have the cash I need without living in my dad’s garage. But the thing is thrivers, there’s eight specific moves to help you raise capital. We’ve gone through the first four. Yes, we teamed together. What Z and I — we both go for the melody. Neither one of us can really find true harmony, so we both go for the melody and we just go with it. That’s how we do it.

Robert: That’s how we do it. Sometimes you just — if you wait until you get it perfect, we’d never sing.


Clay: All right, here’s the deal. Move number five. Move number five, this is a small business administration loan method. My background is I’m a small business administration entrepreneur of the year. Some people say, “What is a small business administration?” Well, it is a government organization and what they do is they help fund small businesses. The government realized that — I want you to Google this right now. Over six out of 10 jobs that are out there right now are created by small business owners. At one point, the government realized, “Hey, if we can help stimulate the economy by making small business loans easily accessible, that would be a good thing.”

But banks are going, “Oh man, if you invest in a small business, what if they lose it all? What if it doesn’t go well?” Here’s the deal, the government teamed up with the banks and here’s the move. If a bank lends money to me and I want to open up a food truck, let’s say, the bank lends me $100,000. The small business administration comes in and says, “We’re going to guarantee 80% of the loan or more.” If I default on my loan, if I go bankrupt, if I can’t pay my loan, the government will team up and say, “We’ll pay 80% of it.” The banks only risking $20,000, not $100,000. It makes it where the banks are more — they have more of an appetite to fund small —

Robert: Absolutely. Something maybe a little bit more risky or something that’s not quite as vetted or something that they would normally want to gamble 100% of their money on.

Clay: Yes and the thing is thrivers, you have to have an SBA compliant loan package. One of our sponsors, and Z full disclosure, a company you’ve invested in quite a bit is Regent Bank out there. Regent Bank.

Steve: Yes, great bank.

Robert: Great bank. It’s a boutique business bank with an arm and a sub bank for even healthcare professionals. We have three locations, Nowata, which is the original location.

Clay: Nowata?

Robert: Nowata. That’s the name, if you’re like, “What? What.”

Steve: They actually have water there though, I’ve checked it.

Robert: Yes, they do have water.

Clay: That’s false advertisement.

Robert: [laughs] The second branch is in Tulsa, Oklahoma and third one we opened up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The capital of the state.

Clay: The capital.

Steve: That one’s killing it too, I’ve heard.

Robert: Yes, yes. We’re doing really well. We bought the bank back in 2008, which was the worst time ever to buy a bank. It was brutal.

Clay: Not a good time to be buying a bank.

Robert: Yes, it was just survival mode for the first few years because we had that great recession, they talk about. It was like, [laughs] “This was not a good idea.” But we just hunkered down, we pulled our bootstraps up, and we just fought, fought, fought, fought and finally now, since we’ve gone through all the tough times, now the bank’s just soaring. It’s the move. I tell you what, these SBA loans are great.

Clay: I think a lot of people go into a bank and Steve, you can relate to this because you’re a mortgage banker more for homes, obviously. But a lot of people go to a bank or maybe they go to a mortgage banker for a house and they feel intimidated. They feel they’re almost walking into this uncharted territory where you’re going, [music] “I’ve never been here. I’m excited. I think this could be a thing. Is Yoda here?” They feel like this could be — then the banker comes out and goes, “In due time, fund you we will. Take you to him, we will.”


You’re going, “Hey, no, seriously. I’m here to see Yoda.” [music] “I take you to him, I will. First, we eat.” [laughs]

Robert: [laughs] “What’s in your backpack?” [laughs]

Steve: [laughs] You’re going, “No, seriously. I want a loan.” The banker again is, “Take you to him, in due time.” You’re just going, “I need a loan now.” Regent Bank is one of those banks that gets it done. They’re going to sit down with you and they’re going to tell you, “This is what you need to do.”

Robert: Absolutely and they’ve been doing it. That’s why they’ve been growing. I tell you what, if a bank does not offer great costumer service and they do not deliver on their promise of getting things done in a timely fashion, then it’s like, “There’s another bank on the corner.” Every corner’s got a bank pretty much any more. They all say the same things but the one’s that deliver on those things that they’re saying.

The sense that, “Hey, we’re going to be customer service friendly. We’re going to be here for you. We’re going to come to your business. We’re going to offer services that you need as a small business startup or small business to grow. We’re going to be here for you every step of the way,” and they are. That’s why the bank’s growing and doing so well.

Clay: Steve, I want to ask you this. For everybody who feels intimidated to go out there and get a packet together, to get all the documents together, to get a mortgage or to get a bank loan for their business, or to get a home equity line, what kind of stuff is just standard you need to have gathered before you go talk to a bank? What do you need to get before you get any kind of loan? Give us some standard moves.

Robert: Step one is to get our application in, so that we can see what your credit looks like and what you qualify for, or koalify for, as we like to say it.

Clay: Koalify? Why do say koalify?

Robert: Get koalified because we love koalas and that’s our mascot. It’s the koala.

Clay: The koala. What was your website? Is it get what?


Clay: Okay. First, I got to fill out my packet. By the way, if someone is looking for a home loan right now. Rates are going to go up here. If they’re looking to get a home loan right now, how do they get a hold of you?

Steve: 918-254-loan. 254-5626.

Clay: What’s the website again?


Clay: Okay, you need to fill out the packet. What else do you need, typically?

Steve: Once we do your pre-approval, we looked at your credit and your income you reported, it’s easy. I got W-2s, a month to pay stubs, couple years tax returns, driver’s license, a couple of months of bank statements and you’re good. It’s not hard.

Clay: You’re good?

Steve: It’s not hard. Yes.

Clay: That’s it. It’s not a scary thing to go out there and get. I think a lot of people they’re intimidated and were saying, “I don’t know, Z. I don’t know if I could fill out all these paperwork.” But we’re saying right now. If you’re listening and you’re going, “Hey, I’m maybe looking to refinance my house and pull equity out of my house as a way to fund my business.” Again, Steve, they can get a hold of you where?


Clay: If somebody’s looking for —

Steve: Or

Clay: If someone’s looking for a bank, a traditional small business loan, an SBA loan, right here in Tulsa, we have a real jewel of small business funding and that’s Regent Bank. You’ve actually served on the board, you believe in it, we’ve seen it. Sean Kouplen, the CEO, is one of our mentors.

Z, when someone is a mentor, what does that mean, my friend?

Robert: That means we’ve selected them and we’ve gone around the country and selected men and women that have shown excellence in their area. When Sean, when we went and filmed him and he contributed to our business coaching platform, which is, he brought all the things unique that a banker could bring to the business coaching. He talked about how to make a business plan, how to get in front of a banker, things that bankers are looking for, packets, templates to do, to do that very thing.

He was a great guy then because if someone said to me, “Hey, I see you own a piece of a bank and you were on the bank board, what do I need to do to go in front of a bank?” I’d be like, “Hey man, I don’t know but I know a guy who knows and it’s Sean Kouplen.”

Clay: If I’m listening Z and I’m going, “Okay, I need a bank loan for my business, I also need to learn sales, I need a logo, I need to know how to hire people, I need to know how to make a business plan, I need to know how to make an LLC. I’m just overwhelmed. Where can I go, Z? Where can I — [laughs]”

Robert: You could go to and get help from a business coach. I call it the Netflix of business coaching. For $19 a month, you have access 24/7 to all the great videos. There’s thousands of videos. We’re adding them all the time.

Clay: Every day.

Robert: Every day. You can’t watch enough to keep up with us. Thousands of videos already and they’re categorized by mentors, they’re categorized by topic. Great Stuff.

Clay: If I want to get out to an in-person workshop Z, what can I do?

Robert: This is the week to do it. January 20, 21 go to and all the details — click on the button, boom, boom, boom, all the details. Hopefully, we’ll see you on Friday. It’s going to be the best two days of your life, I hope.

Clay: 15 hours of power. Learn more.

It’s the Thrive Time Show during your afternoon and I’m telling you what. If you’ve just discovered the Thrive Time Show for the first time, you’re going to find it is Tulsa’s only local business radio show. It’s business school without the BS. It’s a place where you can come to consistently, every single day. Every single day, two hours a day. By the way, if you missed a segment and you want to get caught up, Z, where can they go? They missed a segment and go, “I missed move two, I missed move three, where can I hear the rest of this?”

Robert: Well, we got eight super moves today on how to get the money for your business. They can go to where we have all 100 and — this is our 10th show. All 110 shows. I think we do. [laughs] Podcast form on there that you can listen to. You could just say, “Hey, guess what honey, tonight’s date night.”

Clay: “Are you saying that I have to be on the internets in order to get the websites? What are we talking about here? I’m only on an AM radio. I’ve been trying to– “

Robert: No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. Listen Clay.

Clay: I’m new to this station.


Robert: Tonight’s date night, baby.

Clay: Okay, all right.

Robert: Guess what we’re going to do?

Clay: Whoa, I don’t know. I can’t see. Are you —

Robert: I brought home some roses and some Oklahoma Joe barbecue tonight.

Clay: Now we’re talking, all right.

Steve: Do I need to step out of the studio-

Robert: [unintelligible 01:05:30] and baked beans.

Steve: – leave you two alone?

Robert: No. No, stay. Stay Steve and listen to this.

Clay: Okay, I’m listening.

Robert: What are we going to do tonight, babe? Well, we’re not going to go to some silly movie. We’re going to fight the crowds in a movie theater.

Clay: Are we going to go bowling?

Robert: I got my laptop out and we’re going to listen to Thrive Time Show all night long, baby.

Clay: I have a concern when you’re out there. You’re using the laptop.

Robert: [laughs]

Clay: What you’re doing is you’ve given over your life to the technology. Pretty soon, robots will be running around. You’ll be with a chip in your arm. Next thing you know — the Terminator’s a real thing Z. There’s black helicopters over us right now.

Robert: Absolutely. I tell you what, you go to You can also get all the information for our in-person workshop. We made that plural because shops, we do them all the time. You can get the information about the upcoming one. It’s Monday, today. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s going to be this Friday. You only have what, four, five days to get your act together, to get signed up. By the way, you can’t afford it? Poppycock. You can afford it because we have scholarship money available. Whatever you can pay, you can come.

Clay: I don’t want to get too hot and bothered about this but I’m just going to say this. As a young man, when I was building my, which is now a very successful company. Before I sold it, we did 4,000 events a year.

Steve: Way the go, Clay.

Clay: Big, big company. I’m going to say this, I would have — I’m not even kidding. I would have literally cried if I would’ve been exposed to this knowledge because you could learn from mentors or mistakes. You can come to two days, that’s 15 hours. You know that one, you’re not going to ever be upsold and two, –

Robert: That’s huge, by the way.

Clay: – anything you want to know during the lunch break you can ask, during the breaks you can ask. Get seven and a half hours a day, it’s all there. Today, my friend Z, we are talking today specifically about the eight moves to fund or grow your successful business. The 6th move is Crowdfunding. It’s the Crowdfunding method. I’m not going to spend too much time on it because as a general rule, it’s not a thing. I’m going to give you an example of —

Robert: Now, don’t be bitter because you didn’t think of it.

Clay: No.

Robert: When I see a clever thing that some people do and I didn’t think of it and come up with it, I’m like, “Man, Billy.”

Clay: I’m going to get a little bit worked up here. Somebody sent me a message. The truest thing. It’s called, they sent me a message.

Robert: I know what they’re saying.

Clay: They said, “Recently, some things have happened to me. I’ve gone through some things. I realized that– ” This is what the message — [unintelligible 01:07:55] read it to you the best in — I’ll read the actual message but this is how it sounded, they go —

Robert: Okay, all right.

Clay: “I recently have learned some things about people. I need a break from the daily clutter of commerce of American materialism. If you would love to fund me, I’m on a self-discovery path. I just want everyone to know that.”


People funded the guy $14,000 for him to go on a quest to go to Dagobah to meet Yoda, to discover his inner child or something. I don’t know what that is. I’m just saying, I see so many hipster entrepreneurs that don’t have a job going on gofundme and crowd — The linchpin of their whole business plan, you talk to them, you go, “How are you going to get money for your product?” They always go, “I’m going to go on” I’m just telling you, there are a few success stories that have done it. I’m just telling you, this can’t be your only hope. You can’t put all your hopes in this move.

Robert: No, you can’t put them all in this move but I tell you what, if you get rando people to send you rando dollars for your idea, go ahead. God bless you. Go for it.

Clay: I’m going to read off some of the ones that were n– This is on These are some famous ones. It says right here. This is just one example. This one called Oculus Rift. It’s a kick starter project that aimed to take virtual reality into an accessible and actually visible or usable home gaming dimension. More than $2.4 million were raised and they only had a $250,000 goal. That’s in my face. “See Clay? In your face, it works. People do it. You old school, crazy, don’t like the internet kind of guy.”

Another example. This is a Veronica Mars movie. Veronica Mars was one of the fifth highest grossing crowdfunding projects to date. Aiming for $2 million in funding according to Wikipedia. It ended up with over $5.7 million. That’s how they funded the making of the movie. There are exceptions. I’m just trying to keep it real.

Steve, you’ve met some people with some crazy business ideas. You’ve been successful for quite a while in the business. You get approached by people with crazy business ideas all the time. How many times have you met somebody who’s out of their gourd, who’s trying to get some online —

Steve: [laughs]

Clay: Just totally struggling with reality here. Who’s trying to and he goes, “Bro, I’m going to get funding like a crowdfunding site, bro.”

Steve: Almost every day I get contacted from somebody [laughter] that has some like, “I need you to help me. I want you to help me with my business. I want to do this.” But most of the time, as you probably know Clay, they think there’s an easy path to it. They’d think that there is a shortcut and there’s not a shortcut. It’s put in the time, pound the pavement, be a grinder, and that’s how you get there. I guess if you want to go do some crowdfunding, then maybe you can — Like Dr. Z said, if you can get some people to give you some money for free, then go right ahead and do it.

Robert: You know what we need to do, Clay? We need to setup up a crowdfund, we do.

Clay: We do?

Robert: Yes, because —

Clay: What are we going to fund?

Robert: Well, I think what we need to do is fund from the in-person workshops because we’ve got local businessmen that is basically crowdfund — Basically they’ve crowdfunded. We pitch them with the idea of what we’re doing and we say, “Hey, listen, we want to set up a little nest egg over here, a little sum of money. We may not need it, we may need it. Do you have a commitment?” They basically say, “Hey, we give a commit for this much money because we believe in this so much. We believe in it so much.”

Clay: So much.

Robert: Yes, and some of them personally it’s changed their lives or our has really helped them, and inspired them, and coached them up and so they get it. They get it. Then they crowdfunded us, I guess. We have to set one up say, “Hey, you too can also contribute to the scholarship of fine, young men and women entrepreneurs that need to come and learn what to do.” You don’t know what you don’t know, Clay.

Clay: You don’t know what you don’t know. One thing you might not know about is venture capital. How to raise venture capital? I’m going to tell you what thrivers, if you’ve ever wanted to know, if you’ve read stories about venture capital and how it works, and how it doesn’t work. I’m going to walk you through that. When we get back, we’ll walk you through the details of it. Just enough to be dangerous.

In our workshops, we get more into the details of this. If you’re trying to raise venture capital — as example, there’s a company called Kleiner, Perkins. Kleiner, Perkins has funded Uber, “I’ve never heard of Uber,” Square, “I don’t know what that is,” Google, “I’ve never used Google, I use Yahoo all the time. I would never –” Okay, that’s fine. By the way they’re going to be changing their name to Alibaba soon here, so hang in there tight.

Steve: Oh, my. Wow.

Clay: The thing is if you’re listening right now to the business coach and you’ve ever want to raise venture capital. It is a thing, it is a move, but there’s a proven process you have to go through to do that. We’re going to teach you a little bit about how to raise venture capital and move number eight when we come back here. In the meantime, go to, at, and get registered for the in-person two-day workshop, this Friday and Saturday. Baby, baby. Boom.


Tulsa, Oaklahomies, green country, people living in this beautiful state who are listening to your new favorite radio show. Well, you’re going, “What is this show that’s my favorite show?” Well, let me tell you what. You could be over there right now listening to the other guys and they’re going to be talking about politics, or they’re going to be talking about — By the way, I’m very excited about the inauguration. I don’t care what side of the political aisle you’re on. It’s exciting to see the economy improving. It’s exciting to see the Bloomberg consumer confidence index improve. It’s exciting to see a certain swag, a certain energy.

They didn’t tell me it was inauguration. When President Obama stepped into office, it was an exciting time of transition. That is going to be happening, that’s the exciting thing. On this show, we don’t get into the politics, and the red tape, and the jargon, and building a wall. It isn’t ethical. We teach you specifically how Dr. Robert Zoellner and myself, I am the co-host with the most. My name is Clay Clark. I’m the former SBA entrepreneur of the year. I’m joined here with Dr. Robert Zoellner. We teach you our proven moves that how we’ve grown our businesses, and we teach you what we’re doing. Z, it’s really business school without the BS.

Robert: I tell you what and you just handed me tonight when I showed up on the show. Get on Facebook Live, you can see this. This is a first edition, it’s not bound yet, but it’s boomed. The 13 Proven Steps to Business Success. You say, “What is that? What is it? What do they mean?” Well, I’ll tell you what, we are learned men but-

Clay: Learned, learned, learned.

Robert: [laughs] – the best learning I ever got was going out there and doing it.

Clay: What?

Steve: That’s right.

Robert: Yes, going out there and doing it.

Clay: Preach.

Robert: When you want to start a business, that’s what this show is all about. There’s no cooking, there’s no home and gardening. Even though we now need to talk about your son and his lawn care business, he’s wanting to start.

Clay:: It’s blowing up. He’s got two lawns.

Robert: [laughs] Two lawns, he’s on his way. What, he’s only like, nine or 10?

Clay: He’s nine. He’s got a Husqvarna, riding the lawn mower, 48-inch, and he’s got himself two lawns.

Robert: There you go. That’s twice as many as he had the last time we talked about it. That’s good.

Clay: He’s on fire.

Robert: He’s on fire. Stop, drop, and roll.

Clay: Now thrivers, as a business coach, I’m going to tell you this. I’m going to tell you this, okay? Whether you want to start a landscaping business, whether you want to start a plumbing service, you want to start a photography company, I don’t care what it is, you can do it. Z’s done it, I’ve done it, you can do it too. On the show today we have a very special guest, Mr. Steve Currington of TLC mortgages. He’s actually a mortgage banker in Tulsa State. How are you doing, man?

Steve: Good. I’m good.

Clay: Okay, so here we go. We’re getting to moves number seven and eight. Here’s move number seven. This is the venture capital funding method. Before I teach it to you, I want to read you a notable quotable from Paul Graham. Now Paul Graham, is known for being the guy who —

Robert: Did he do the crackers? Is that the guy that did the crackers? Because I love his crackers, if that’s the guy.

Clay: He helped start Dropbox.

Robert: Well, that’s not crackers.

Steve: Not Graham Crackers.

Robert: Yes, I know.

Clay: He helped start Reddit, he helped start Airbnb. He is worth a billion bucks and he says this, he says —

Robert: He probably buys all the crackers he wants though.

Steve: Just a billion.

Clay: On the cracker theme, I don’t have anything to support what you’re saying to be even remotely true but I’m going to go with it because I love and respect both of you guys. I don’t have any connection to cracker — I couldn’t find anything.

Robert: I don’t think he was the same Graham that started the Graham crackers.

Clay: [laughs]

Robert: I was curious. I didn’t know, but I don’t think it’s the same guy.

Clay: Okay, Paul Graham the founder of the Graham cracker revolution. [laughs]

Steve: I wouldn’t question Dr. Z. If he says, he’s the Graham Cracker guy —

Clay: He’s a doctor, okay.

Steve: He has Google, right?

Clay: He says this, “What I tell founders is not to sweat –” Z, this is crazy. He says, “When I tell founders is not to sweat the business model too much at first. The most important task at first is to build something people want. If you don’t do that, it won’t matter how clever your business model is.”

Robert: Boom.

Clay: Oh, no.

Robert: Wait a second. Timeout, timeout, timeout. You don’t understand. Over dinner the other night, I asked my uncle, Billy.

Clay: Billy.

Robert: He said it was a great idea. He confirmed that I was on track and that I should do this. I guess, I got my confirmation. My mom said, “Son, whatever you come up with is awesome. You should follow your dreams.” That’s what my mom said. My mom and my uncle both confirmed it’s a great business plan, great deal, so I should just — a great idea.


I like it like that, come on. I like it when you get DJ mode. There we go.

Clay: All right, here’s the deal. As a business coach, I’m just going to be real and raw with you. Here’s the deal, you’re not in business until you’ve sold something. You’re not in business until you’ve sold something. A business is simply a solution to problems that real people have. What happened is back in the day, as an example, the guys from Google, this is Larry and Sergey, they’re college students at Stanford and they go, “Hey, check it out.” We believe that it’s too hard for a professor at Stanford to access the information over there across the pond in England. It’s too hard for the guy at Stanford to get the information from Oxford.”

They literally had to go on microfiche, the old-school library method. They’d have to travel on a plane, fly over there, ask a librarian, “Hello, welcome to the library.” You have to sort through the Dewey Decimal System to find something. There’s trade journals, those medical journals. It’s too hard to find things.

They said, “What we’re going to do is we’re going to download the entirety of the internet and we’re going to index it in a way that makes things quickly findable, easy to find. We’re going to call this company, BackRub and so they began.

Steve: [laughs]

Clay: What happened is BackRub —

Robert: I’m sure it’s a true story.

Clay: They started, they called it BackRub. What happens is these homies are working on this business. I’m not talking about working for a little time, I’m talking about from 1998 these homies are — 1996 is when they started. They didn’t have any traction at all until 1998. They’re not making any money for the longest time. In 1998, they finally incorporate this thing but for two years, they’re just trying to download the internet. Eventually, they discover, “Hey, this makes it easy to find things. It’s easy to find things.”

Robert: It’s so cool.

Clay: Now, they seek out venture capital. It’s what we’re talking about. They seek it out, they’re going to everybody in Silicon Valley asking them, “Hey, would you invest? Would you invest? Would you invest?” Then one day, there’s a guy named Andy. What happened is Andy’s from a company called Sun Microsystems. He was a co-founder of Sun Microsystems. They go to him and they said, “Please invest.” They’ve been rejected, by the way, almost a hundred times. Andy goes — for him it’s nothing. By the way $100,000 is nothing for this guy. He’s a co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

Steve: He’s like Dr. Z.

Robert: [laughs]

Clay: I’m not kidding, though. He goes, “Well, guys okay. I’ll do a $100,000 to get you going. What’s the name of the company?” Larry looks at Sergey, Sergey looks at Larry, and he goes, “Google.” Neither one of them have discussed the name. It was just BackRub and they were like, “Dude, it can’t be Back rub. That’s not a good name.”

Robert: Exactly, that’s not good.

Clay: They said, Google. He goes, “How do I spell it?” Google is a math term. Anyway, they’re like, “G-O-O-G-L-E.” They spelled it wrong. They get a check for $100,000. They use that $100,000 to set up their bank account. It wasn’t even incorporated yet. They literally got a money from a guy and it wasn’t even incorporated yet. Well, it took that money and just kept them alive just long enough but here’s the deal. Any time that you want to raise venture capital, you have to prepare on 100 nos before you get a yes and you have to have a pitch deck.

We will teach you how to make a pitch deck here at the two-day, in-person Thrive Time workshops, where you have a pitch deck and you have to be prepared to get 100 nos. You have to have crazy upside potentially available for the investors. It is a crazy process but we can teach you the specific process to get it done. Now Z, we’re moving on to move number eight. Move number eight, you must understand the limitations and the realities of raising money from accredited investors.

You understand it’s illegal to solicit large amounts of money from people unless they’re an accredited investor, if you have too many. I don’t want to get into it but you can’t go out there and get 50 people to all put 100 grant into your business, unless the people who are putting in the business are accredited investors. I don’t want to worry you out. That means someone’s net worth has to be over $1 million and they have to — there are certain financial qualifications they have to have before The SEC, The Security and Exchange Commission will even — This is a government body that make sure that people aren’t out and they’re doing Ponzi schemes and scams. You have to understand some of these rules –

Robert: Man, you’re taking away half of my moves right there. I love a good Ponzi scheme, man.

Clay: Well, the Security Exchange Commission, they try to keep out nefarious scammers and frauders from raising money. You have to understand these and it’s a lot to get into a show. That’s what we’re going to teach you at the two-day, in-person workshops. Before I tell you the details there, Steve, if somebody is trying to get a home equity line to fund their business, how could they get a hold of you? If they’re trying to get a mortgage, how could they get hold of you, man?

Steve: or Hey, if you’re going to look at this workshop, Clay I’m going to tell you, 15 hours in the Thrive offices is very valuable.

Clay: Could you describe what it looks like in here my friend?

Steve: It’s like a big open space with — You’ve got the training whiteboard set up everywhere. There’s a big gong, and a bell, there’s energy. It’s fun.

Clay: It’s like entrepreneurial Disneyland, Z. It’s like an entrepreneurship Disneyland. It’s incredible. If you want–

Robert: I tell you what, when you get here, I want to just make sure. You come to the in-person workshop, I want you to make sure and look at our conference room. It’s really very cool. On one board Clay has outlined his brain. His brain is on one board and my brain is on another wall. It’s exciting. I just want you to go and look at that room and say, “This cool space.”

Clay: If you’re listening right now, you have three options. Option number one, you could listen –

Robert: Boom.

Clay: – today and say, “I am super motivated. I’m going to do nothing.” Can we just say, “Okay, you don’t expect a big change.” Move number two, is you can say, “I want to do something but I have very limited financial resources. I’m in a tight spot right now and I want to take some action.” If that’s you, you could go to or You can sign up for the world’s best online business school for 19 bucks a month or with our scholarship, you can choose your price. Or you can get out to an in-person. in-person, two-day workshop. You got to sign up now for your business coach, though. this Friday and Saturday. Or Z, you can sign up for a one-on-one in-person mentorship. We have it all happening at

Robert: Come to the in-person workshop. There will be no up selling, it’s not a Ponzi scheme.

Clay: What?

Robert: There’s no fire walking but you’ll leave here, I promise you, smarter in business than when you showed up. As always —

Rober and Clay: Three, two, one. Boom.

[01:23:53] [END OF AUDIO]


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