The Art of Getting Things Done (Part 3) – Hour Two

Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription



During today’s broadcast of The Thrive Time Business Coach Radio Show, Clay Clark and Doctor Robert Zoellner break down the moves that they use to get more things done and to be the most productive entrepreneurs they can be. Specifically during today’s show they break down Moves #15 – 23 and they cover the following topics and more.


Move #19
Agree on a universal file naming system and forbid the use of acronyms


NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Subject line: Acronyms Seriously Suck: There is a creeping tendency to use made up acronyms at SpaceX. Excessive use of made up acronyms is a significant impediment to communication and keeping communication good as we grow is incredibly important. Individually, a few acronyms here and there may not seem so bad, but if a thousand people are making these up, over time the result will be a huge glossary that we have to issue to new employees. No one can actually remember all these acronyms and people don’t want to seem dumb in a meeting, so they just sit there in ignorance. This is particularly tough on new employees. That needs to stop immediately or I will take drastic action—I have given enough warnings over the years. Unless an acronym is approved by me, it should not enter the SpaceX glossary. If there is an existing acronym that cannot reasonably be justified, it should be eliminated, as I have requested in the past. For example, there should be no “HTS” [horizontal test stand] or “VTS” [vertical test stand] designations for test stands. Those are particularly dumb, as they contain unnecessary words. A “stand” at our test site is obviously a *test* stand. VTS-3 is four syllables compared with “Tripod,” which is two, so the bloody acronym version actually takes longer to say than the name! The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication. An acronym that most engineers outside of SpaceX already know, such as GUI, is fine to use. It is also ok to make up a few acronyms/contractions every now and again, assuming I have approved them, eg MVac and M9 instead of Merlin 1C-Vacuum or Merlin 1C-Sea Level, but those need to be kept to a minimum.” – Elon Musk (A South African-born Canadian American business investor, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; a co-founder, Series A investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; and founder and CEO of Neuralink. Musk is also a co-founder and former chairman of SolarCity, co-founder of Zip2, and founder of, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal. He is a man who knows how to get things done.)


To scale a business you must teach your team to name files correctly and consistently. If you don’t do this on a very basic and fundamental basis you cannot scale a business. If everyone is running around constantly asking where this file or that file is saved you will spend your entire day reacting to sincere people on your team who can’t find the basic answers to the routine daily questions. You must stay organized and you must be fastidious about keeping your file naming system consistent if you are ever going to scale your business and get things done quickly. I would challenge you here and now to write out the answers to the following questions for your betterment:


  1. 1. Are all of your files save in a universal location where every member of your team can access the files and documents they need?______________________
  2. 2. Are all of your files, photos and important documents perpetually backed up on a daily basis? ______________________________________________________
  3. 3. How do you want your files to be named? ______________________________




Move #20
Setup call recording in your office


NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Only the paranoid survive.” – Andy Grove (A Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, author and a pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He was one of the founders and the CEO of Intel. He was a man who knew how to get things done.)


If you are not recording the calls of your business team you are being screwed and your team is doing a bad job guaranteed. Without exception, every single entrepreneur that I have worked with over the years has been shocked and almost depressed when they first hear the recorded calls made by their phone people (call center). However, once you begin to measure what you treasure and to create a culture of accountability and ongoing training your “call people” will improve. I would challenge you here and now to write out the answers to the following questions for your betterment:


  1. 1. What call recording system do you currently use to record your phone calls? ________________________________________________________________
  2. 2. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), how confident are you that your team is following your systems and processes on each and every call? ________________________________________________________________
  3. 3. How much do you believe it may be costing you to have your team performing poorly when answering your phones on your behalf? ________________________________________________________________



Move #21
Setup GPS on the cars of your employees


NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Trust, but verify.” – President Ronald Reagan (An American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader. He is a man who knew how to get things done.)


If you have people that work for you and you are paying for their gas 7 out of 10 of them are going to take advantage of you and lie about their mileage if you do not put a GPS device on their vehicles to monitor the actual distances that they are driving. They will take the company car out for Sushi, out to movie and on an extended road trip if you are not monitoring them like a hawk (assuming that hawks monitor miles intensely). When you start to intensely the mileage turned in by your teammates you will quickly discover that they “magically” become more productive. I would challenge you here and now to write out the answers to the following questions for your betterment:


  1. 1. What GPS system are you using to monitor the mileage your teammates are turning? ________________________________________________________________
  2. 2. How many miles / hours per year do you estimate that your team is currently wasting as a result of you not measuring their miles via a transparent GPS monitoring system? ________________________________________________________________



Move #22
Setup recorded videos in your offices, workshops and assembly lines


NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace and that most do so repeatedly.” – Employee Theft: Are You Blind to It? – CBS News – Money Watch


Oh, it’s amazing what happens when you decide not “trust but verify” everything via video cameras. The “Jack-assery” that you will catch within every organization is amazing. The lies, the cheating, the stealing and lateness are all exposed immediately and you get to really analyze what’s really hurting your business. My friend, if you sincerely care about getting more stuff and getting your people to get more stuff done you simply have to install recorded cameras in your offices, workshops, assembly lines, gyms, retail stores, etc. I would challenge you here and now to write out the answers to the following questions for your betterment:


  1. 1. What camera system are you currently using to insure that your team is staying on task? ________________________________________________________________
  2. 2. How many hours do you estimate that you team is losing per day due to unproductivity and not being held accountable via video recordings? ________________________________________________________________
  3. 3. How much money do you estimate that it’s costing you (in poor employee performance) to not have video cameras installed in your place of business? ________________________________________________________________




Move #23
Remove all interaction (when possible) with people that do not share your vision, your values and work ethic


NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Most people think it’s all about the idea. It’s not. EVERYONE has ideas. The hard part is doing the homework to know if the idea could work in an industry, then doing the preparation to be able to execute on the idea.” – Mark Cuban (an American businessman, investor, author, television personality, and philanthropist. He is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of the AXS TV. He is also one of the main “shark” investors on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank. In 2011, Cuban wrote an e-book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, in which he chronicles his experiences in business and sports. He is a man who knows how to get things done.)


In public school you had to sit next to people because of the zip code their guardians chose to live in, however in the real life you don’t have to hang out with people simply because you live near them. In fact, I would encourage you to avoid interactions with people that do not share your values and work ethic or you will find yourself becoming chronically agitated with each other. As an example, I sincerely do not care about fishing and camping. In fact, if almost anybody on the planet asked me to go camping, I would say “no” because I sincerely dislike it. Thus, I don’t invest any of my time with Boy Scouts, Royal Rangers and other organizations who have a love of camping. I don’t understand lazy people who refuse to put in the work it takes to grow a successful business. Thus, I don’t invest time with people who chronically sleep in and who view working hard as something to be avoided. Why? I don’t want to spend my day unproductively arguing with people that don’t share my values or my work ethic and you shouldn’t either. I would challenge you here and now to write out the answers to the following questions for your betterment:


  1. 1. Who are you spending time with that does not share your values and work ethic? _____________________________________________________________
  2. 2. How can you minimize the time you spend with people who do not share your values and work ethic? ____________________________________________________________


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