An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 18) – Is It Possible To Work With People Who Share Different Values?

An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 18)

Is It Possible To Work With People Who Share Different Values?

By Clay Clark – U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Dallas Business Coach & Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group

     Is it possible to work with people who share different values? Is it possible to work with people who have a different definition ofthe word “integrity?” It is possible to work with people who are not trying to achieve the same life goals? In a word, I would answer a resounding, “NO.” Over time as the businesses have grown I have discovered that “getting the right people in the bus” has to be my to priority. Having the wrong people on the bus can kill and organization, and cause fights on the bus. Let me give you an example.

   Once upon a time, I began working for a client. As with all clients, this client has a problem. And as with all deals, one of our companies was going to provide this client with their solution. This client however had the world-view of “by any means necessary,” while our company had the world view and value that “we will engage in no transactions that are not mutually beneficial to everyone who is involved.” Our company also has the value the we should treat every as we would want to be treated. Our client did not share this view. Our client believed that it was important to do whatever must be done at any time to get a deal done. Promise this, promise that, whether they delivered or not did not really matter to them. This attitude was very apparent to all of their vendors and to all of their clients.

    Over time promises were consistently broken, lies were constantly told and the trust that had been eroding eventually was completely washed away by a mudslide of broken promises. From week to week their lies became more and more apparent. As each week passed, their broken promises began working their way up their company’s food chain. Management was changed. Leadership was changed. Threats were issued to everyone involved. Now as I sit and type this article I have the unique opportunity to reflect on the the obomination that was and where everything went wrong.

     Did we get everything in writing? Yes. Did we agree on everything going into it? Yes. Did we have synergy when we started? Yes. Did we deliver on what we said we were going to do? Yes. So where did it all go wrong? Values my reader friend. Values were the problem. Our company serves a living God. Our company views everything from an eternal perspective. We believe that our true blessings will be in heaven. These guys believe that their time on the Earth is all they have. They believe they must get all they can get from everybody on the Earth because this is it for them. Thus, I have reached my conclusion at the ripe old age of 30. If you do not share the same values with people you must not go to work with them. If you do not have the same world view and beliefs about integrity you must run for hills no matter how great the offer looks. We only live once. Don’t spend your time working with unethical people.

By Clay Clark – U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Dallas Business Coach & Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group

2011 Economic Forecast – Learning To Benefit From Blizzards

2011 Economic Forecast: Learning How To Benefit From Blizzards

An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 16) By Clay Clark – U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year – U.S. Chamber Blue Ribbon Quality Award Winner – Serial Entrepreneur – Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group

Amidst the current economic recession, economists and politicians have continued speaking about the importance of developing entrepreneurs. However, the very problem with this is that entrepreneurs and politicians think every differently. A successful entrepreneur is a border-line delusional optimist. An unsuccessful entrepreneur is a delusional optimist. A politician is generally a realist. Entrepreneurs tend to think of the world from a forward-thinking perspective. They tend to think of the world as better than it is in nearly every respect. Then it becomes their goal to turn their ideas into reality through the growth and creation of their businesses. Politicians tend to think of the world in terms of polling data and current economic figures. They tend to see the world from a pessimistic and almost outright skeptical perspective. I do agree it will be the entrepreneurs who will get us out of this economic downward spiral, however I am 100% certain it will be inspite of the “help” that politicians are attempting to give.

Politicians are very excited about the concept of the new Entrepreneurship Degree Programs that are being offered at various colleges throughout the country. The problem is that 90% of successful entrepreneurs would never get a college degree and nearly all successful entrepreneurs would certainly not go to college to get a degree validating their entrepreneurial mindset. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John Rockefeller, etc…these guys do not have college degrees. A college degree teaches you how to work for someone else. A college degree teaches you how to find the problems with everything after you have thoroughly analyzed the data. A college degree teaches you to avoid risk. An entrepreneur is focused on finding problems. An entrepreneur realizes finding and solving problems for other people is the best and only real way to get paid significantly in this world.

Over the years I have invested in a few flip houses. The goal behind every one of these is to find a house that is BEAT UP. We want to find a house that has been nearly destroyed. We want to find a home with as much cat pee in the carpet as possible. Then once we find a house that has been destroyed we want to make sure that this home is in a nice and stable neighborhood. We are looking for problems. The Iphone was invented to solve the problem of humans who felt the need to carry around an IPOD, a gps, a dictaphone, an MP3 player, a calculator and a host of other items. The goal was to then add an ease-of-use and cool factor to the product to make it desirable. If people did not have the problem of carrying all of this stuff from place to place like Steve Martin in the Jerk (motion picture), “This is all I need…” then Apple would not have had anything worth selling. As a wedding vendor I have found that it is essential to find the bride’s problem. If the bride does not have a vision for her wedding that involves great entertainment that she has been previously unable to find then we don’t have anything we can sell. My friend entrepreneurship at its very core is finding problems and providing solutions on a massive scale. Marinate on that mentally for a second….

So what is the current economic forecast? Kiplinger’s forecasts, “anemic growth” in housing. They predict retail to have “modest growth.” The Wall Street Journal predicts “housing prices will decline in 2011.” They predict that the price of food is going to go up and the price of goods will continue to go down. Ben Bernanke the Federal Reserve’s Chairman and the guy who hits the “print button” on the Fed’s print presses says that the housing market is “surprisingly uncertain.” My friends that current economic forecast is calling for SNOW. The forecast is calling for tons of snow. The current economic forecast is for massive, rediculous, life-changing amounts of snow. So the real question comes down to this: Are you going to change the weather or how you respond to it?

As I see it their are three common ways to respond to the snow. As for me, I will go out and rent a snow-blower or a Bobcat. Then I will go door to door to every house in my neighbor offering to clear off their driveway for $200. They have a problem and I have a solution. I will keep solving problems from 7:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Then I will pray for snow. People hate being stuck in the homes they spend all of their money and time on decorating. People want to get out. Thus people will pay me to shovel their driveway. The more it snows, the more problems they have. The more problems they have the more solutions I can provide. The more people I serve the more money I make. Those who serve the most people make the most amount of money. “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28 ESV / 18 Some people see the snow as a big problem that they are simply not mentally equipped to overcome. The snow begins to become their excuse for all things. “Oh, I couldn’t get into work because of the snow…I couldn’t get that done because of the snow…I couldn’t return your call because I was snowed in…I couldn’t work out because I was stuck in the snow…Basically, I had to stop living for 5 days to cope with the snow…” These people will generally purchase snow-blowing services from others. These people tend to work as employees as a job that they really don’t like. They are totally content to exchange this life for a salary which does not inspire them. These people are controlled by outside forces. They are like a ship at sea without a rutter. They move forward in circles. They are moved by every currend and by the whims of the wind. They do not have the ability to plow through the waves and currents that life throws as them. For people with this mindset their really is no hope. ”

The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.” – Napoleon Hill (Think & Grow Rich)The third way that people often respond to forecasts of snow is this. They focus on things they cannot control. The focus on doing activity, just the wrong activity. They get busy immediately doing all the wrong things. They go to the store and buy 12 days worth of eggs to deal with a 3 day storm. They go out and buy as much butter as Walmart will sell them. They go on Facebook and warn everyone they know about the storm. They e-mail blast everyone they have ever met, working as though they are the watchmen and meterologist messenger for their community of friends. They stay up late night watching minute by minute updates. They call friends to ask them, “Is it really coming down where you are?” They go out and buy expensive coats and boots that are coated with thermal down feathers and a new fire-retardent coating. These people spend all of their energy doing the wrong thing. These people work hard, they just do the wrong work.

So with current economic forecast calling for “snow, blizzards and avalanches in some communities” the question remains…”How will your respond to it.” Will you make a fortune by solving problems for others caused by the snow? Will you sit at home and become a victim? Will you go out and spend ours doing unproductive activity? Only you know. But I strongly recommend that you become known as the problem solver and entrepreneur in your community. The pay is better and it’s fun to drive a bob cat!


Clay Clark
Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Realty Group
Serial Entrepreneur and Business Coach

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