Today’s guest found opportunities in small niches and continued to snowball those gains to go on to build and sell several million dollar companies before the age of 40.

Probably one of the podcasts I’ve laughed the most on, please welcome self-proclaimed, and I tend to agree, “business comedian,” Clay Clark.

Episode highlights:

  • 0:37 – Clay’s Background
  • 3:15 – Clay’s Timeline
  • 9:45 – As a DJ
  • 14:13 – Life-Changing Experience
  • 26:00 – Advice from Expert

Learn more about this guest:


Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Clay Clark joins us today. He’s the former USSBA entrepreneur of the year, founder of six multimillion dollar companies, Forbes contributor, author of 13 books and host of six times iTunes chart, topping podcast, clay. Thanks a lot for jumping on. Hey, I appreciate you for letting me harass your audience. 

Well, that’s a unique way of putting it. Well, you know, you have a lot of, um, great accolades here that we can go down. So, um, why don’t I give you just a quick opportunity to kind of tell us how clay would describe clay? Well, I’m a father of five kids and, uh, my partner and I, um, we’ve, we’ve built several multimillion dollar companies.  

And, uh, I would say if you had to sort it in this order, um, faith is probably, uh, most important for my wife and I, and then I’d say family would be number two, a third would probably be finances that, that sort of fuels, you know, everything. So I’d say faith, family, finances. It’s kind of how I would view it, but the businesses, uh, we’ve, we’ve done well in the world of business and.  

When I, I grew up without any money and we’ve been blessed to be able to, um, earn a lot, but I, I view it as a, um, I, I view business as just a vehicle to get where I want to go. That’s that, that’s how I view it. Yeah, I think that’s important. I mean, that’s a good place to start. I think, as an actress Brunner, one thing that I’ve I’ve found in those studies found success, um, is that a lot of people say, I want a lot of money.  

I want a lot of fame, but at the end of the day, when they get there, what they really want are the things that money buys. And particularly me for me is freedom. And it sounds like you’re kind of in that same realm. Well, I’ve also found, um, Ray Dalio, um, you know, he’s the billionaire who, um, wrote the book called principles that, uh, he’s done very, very well for himself.  

And one of the things that he talked about was that, um, he I’ll kind of read a quote from his, from, from his book principles, life and work. He says having the basics, a good bed to sleep in good relationships. Good food and good sex is most important. And those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less people at the top part is fairly more special than the ones you made at the bottom or in between.  

So I think at a certain point, once you have. The house, check the pool, check the land, check car, you know, whatever that is on your list, you realize, Hey, you know, life isn’t about acquiring stuff to impress people that I don’t know. You know, I’m not, I don’t need you to just buy stuff. I don’t need to impress people.  

I don’t know. Life is about enjoying it about being able to spend time doing things and being with the people you enjoy the most. And so that’s kind of how I, that’s why my businesses exist in my mind. Yeah for me, if anything, I want less things in life lately. They’re they’re more to think about. Well, except for a beard, except for less beard.  

Yeah. We talked about the beard before we hit the play button here. So I don’t want to focus on my beard, but it has taken on a life of its own. Well, clay I’m. So you have you found success in multiple businesses? Give us the abbreviated version of the types of industries. Those businesses are in. What’s going on a timeline, maybe here we go.  

Go kind of linear. Uh, the date line, uh, 1999, I started a company called DJ, which has still exists. Uh, DJ At the time I sold it, we were doing about 4,000 events per year, and I don’t know how many they’re doing now, but, um, we, we would be do weddings or receptions, birthday parties, that kind of thing.  

And I had, um, I had a job at target. And I was under-qualified at target. I worked at Applebee’s under-qualified and direct TV. And at those jobs where I was under-qualified I worked somewhere between, and I know it might be hard to believe, but it is possible, uh, you know, 80 to 90 hours a week, a hundred hours a week.  

Whenever I get to, you know, get, you know, whatever, I try to sleep like five hours a day, six hours a day, but just work literally every hour, if I could. And then I took that money and I convinced my beautiful wife when I was 20 to turn off the air conditioning. In Oklahoma, where gets to be a hundred and the heat where it gets down to zero degrees in the winter, turn off the heat in the air and let’s buy a boat.  

Let’s buy a yellow page ad. Do you remember that? Back in the day, the yellow, that was a support group. You would open up the yellow page and now you open up Google, but back in the day, open up the yellow page. Yet you open up the yellow pages and you open to the section called DJs and you see it right there and you’d call the biggest advertisement.  

And that would have the biggest, you know, the ad that really stuck out. And so I took adult men, my, and my employees. I took their heads. And through Photoshop, I made them look like caricatures. They had big heads, but their actual head on the body of male models and all of us were everything, but male models.  

So it was beautiful, man, bear pig heads. And we put on be on the Photoshop in the phone book. It said. DJ It’s a (918) 481-2010, where the fun begins. And it said, and then my competition. So they offered a hundred thousand up to a hundred thousand songs. So I put up to 102,000 songs and they said, they’ve been around since 1984. 

And I put, I was conceived in 1980. I put out as I was, I was born, I was born in 1980, so, but conceived in 1980. And they said, um, the best entertainment and I put, we’ll take your event from ordinary to extraordinary. And our heads are bigger. Cause we’re so humble.  

Had the whole page dude, she opened the DJs and then the phone would ring. And the first guy that booked me, his name was Jeff Ramsey. He worked at T-Mobile booked his wedding. Uh, he and Shanita, and I did the wedding and they were very happy. And then that led to other weddings and other events and model how I got clients.  

I said, I will, I will DJ your wedding for a dollar. And then at the end of the event, if I am good, you can pay me what you think I’m worth. You know, the average DJ’s charging 600 or a thousand. I’m just telling you it’s the dollar. And then you pay me what you think I’m worth. And I’m not going to get mad at you as little or as much as you want.  

And I had a lot of people that would pay, you know, $400, 200, a lot of the sand spring softball event paid me like a hundred dollars. I mean, you know, some people. So with the Oklahoma has paid me kind of low, so I’m paying me high, but then I built, I didn’t have a business. We had forced the, we were doing 4,000 events a year, 80 disc jockeys, going out, just doing what we did.  

A lot of bands, a lot of DJs on a red bull. Then we went from there. I realized I was referring a lot of photographers in town and all the photographers kept saying, we’re all booked out right now. So you’re going to have to call someone else. The bride would call me back and say, clay, the photographer, you just recommended said that they’re booked out.  

Well, should I recommend? So I recommended somebody else. And then they said, they’re all booked out. And this kept happening. And I thought, why am I referring people who don’t scale? I need to refer myself. So I started Epic photos, which still exists today. I sold it. Um, and then I bought, I bought a company that was a small company called party.  

Perfect. And then grew it, it was a tables and Reynolds and chairs. And I sold that to a company it’s now called party pro, which is the largest party rental company now in Oklahoma. And so I, and then I started a bridal show. I wasn’t allowed to get into bridal shows. So I started my own trade show. Um, did that, um, and I just kept doing that.  

And so that was like business four and business five would be, I think it was elephant in the room or men’s grooming lounge where it’s like a manscaping. It’s like a country club meets and we have members and three stores that I own. And there’s two stores. That I don’t own that all franchises. And then I started salting my company, make your life Epic.  

And I’ve helped to coach or scale, uh, companies like Hewlett Packard that was already big before they hired me or companies like Oxy fresh. That was medium. And now they have 407 franchises that I’ve helped coach up. And then tip top canine franchising. It’s a dog training franchise that would be. Seven, I think, and then full package media would be business eight.  

It’s a real estate photography company. And so I think there’s total that I’ve started a multimillion dollar companies, quote, unquote, I think eight is the actual number now I think, I don’t know. Cause I don’t really track it that way. I don’t think about it that way. It’s just a fun thing to do. Yeah. It sounds like you have a lot of fun with this.  

Um, all right, so let’s go back a little bit. So while man bear pig head was working 80 to 90 hours, were you married during the, those long stretches of hours? I got married right when we turned 20. So I was 18. I was grinded. I was working, I was going to oral Roberts university and I got kicked out for writing a parody about the schools that he didn’t find to be as funny as I did.  

And it’s on YouTube now called, Oh, are you slim? Shady. And um, somebody, a buddy of mine liked it and he put on Napster right when the hamster was big and everyone downloaded it kind of viral back before it was viral. Cool. To be viral. I got kicked out of college. And so I found myself, you know, not in school.  

And so while we were dating engaged, I was working those hours. Yeah. And it was a, but my wife knew what she was getting into at that time. And now I scheduled a lot different, but, uh, I was, yeah. Was dating was almost married. Okay. All right. And then, um, one, one more back story question before we transitioned into nowadays.  

So it’s an interesting model with the $1 base. And it reminds me of when I started SEO national 13 years ago. So one of our first, probably our first few clients, I said, Pay me nothing, but let’s define some benchmarks. And if you hit those benchmarks, then you owe me retroactively, and then that’s gone on to, to get the business where it is now 13, later years later.  

So it’s interesting to hear other people take a similar approach. And, um, but what I’m curious about is were the other DJs taking the same $1 base as you, or were you brokering them out with some sort of base fee? Oh, that’s a great, that’s a great thing. A great question. The $1 deal. I did that to book myself.  

So if I know that your listeners might go, I don’t believe you. And that’s fine. I want you to not believe what I’m saying. Try to look it up and try to verify to make some more interesting. But my thing was, I’m going to DJ three nights a week. Somehow. That was my thing. You know what I mean? Then when I get three shows a week, I’ll just quit one of my jobs or both of my jobs or three of my jobs.  

And so I ended up getting a gig at the holiday Inn select, which I thought was cool. And they said we will, um, pay you $700 a week to DJ seven nights a week. So not, not for a total of 4,900 total of 700. And I thought this would allow me to quit all my jobs. Yes. So without talking to my soon to be wife, I signed a hell gig to DJ at the holiday and seven nights a week running the sound for the Los Vegas impersonators guys who had pretended to be Tom Jones.  

You got a guy out there going, it’s done. Use your wallet to be loved by anyone he’s asking, just like Tom Jones or Prince acting, just like Prince and my job, uh, like the sheer impersonator looked so much like Cher and wouldn’t let me call her her real name. So hereby turn fair time. I’m doing this. And then it occurred to me.  

My phone’s ringing and they’re going, we’d like to book you for this date and I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. And that’s when the market started chasing me. So then I changed the model about year two and a half to where you’re going to pay me $150 deposit. And you don’t have to pay the remainder unless you’re happy.  

That’s how I changed it. And then the DJs who worked for me, I said, I’m going to pay $150 to DJ the wedding. But if you get a bad review, I’m paying you minimum wage. Yeah. You know, and so the guys would go out, they’re like, Oh my gosh, I gotta do a great job because my performance is related to want to get back.  

And then over time I tweaked the model a little bit. I got it to where the guys can make up to two or $300 if they got a great review. And this was before Google reviews, this is just like on the or various little chat room things, you know, they got a good re then they got more money. And so that’s what allowed us to be sustainably.  

Great. Because. The natural LOL or the pole is once you’ve deejayed 150 weddings or so is to kind of start to mail it in. But every wedding special, you know, for the person getting married. So I had to put that merit based pay in place. And I learned that from a book called the service profit chain that was recommended to me by the founder of the, a billion dollar company.  

Quick trip. Yeah. Well, you know, you kind of joke about listeners might not believe it, but I. I think that the value in doing that is that you establish, um, you know, a portfolio and you get in with a good base of referral clients. And I’m assuming I’m willing to bet that you had more than one of those people that came in a dollar that enjoyed it enough, that they came back to you several times over.  

Oh, yeah. You know, the DJ business is weird cause you don’t get a whole lot of referrals. I don’t want to bore your listeners with names that don’t matter to them, but I want to make this point. Jeff Ramsey really liked the wedding. I think he referred me to somebody, but I don’t remember who it was. But then I remember DJ BOPA.  

At the Royal dragon and Boba had a great wedding for Boba and Ryan and they loved it. And their friend Erin who worked at the bank, she hired me to DJ for her wedding and her boss attended her wedding. He was the owner of a big bank in town, and then he hired me and it just kind of set up that chain reaction where it was this unbelievable referral stream.  

And Napoleon Hill refers to this as if you render more service than for which you’re paid. Eventually you’ll be ready. You’ll be paid for more than the service you render. And so I that’s the law of reciprocity. And so, yeah, I mean, I got so many referrals and that’s how the business grew. The yellow pages are how we got the little seedlings in.  

But the roots and the limbs of the tree grew from referrals. Yeah. Yeah. It’s great to hear those stories. All right. So let’s kind of bring it up to speed. Now. Um, you saw the DJ in the photo and the party business, um, as you transitioned out of those into your next projects, or you don’t have to give exact dollar amounts, but was the, was the money life changing or was it, you know, good money to roll into the next thing?  

Uh, it was, it was life changing. It was, it was, um, to a place where, um, I’ll just put it this way to the listeners. When you think you have that thought of a caught near term. I remember I was buying 96 cent. Per meal, chicken panini and the budget gourmet section at Walmart, which is, which is a contradiction in term.  

I mean, it’s obviously more on the budget for banks. It’s 96% sodium, 96, third century, not good. And I’m in there eating that company. And I’m thinking if I get four yogurts for a dollar, the off brand, and I get a chicken panini, I could live for $2 a day. Well, I started making enough money where I was like, man, I could live off of like, I could eat for $15 a day.  

You know, there were $10 a day. Then I started thinking, man, I’ve got enough money. I could pay for my apartment. When I sold the businesses, it got to a place where I’m going for the next, you know, 10 years. If I don’t want to work, I don’t have to. Now what I want to do. So it moved me up. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to focus on actualization.  

Well, that’s, that’s an interesting topic to go into next. So when you found yourself in that position, um, you know, I know there’s a common thread and a lot of my friends that have exited businesses for large amounts and it’s, you know, usually they take a couple of days, couple of weeks, a couple months, um, just to recover and get in some downtime.  

And then after that, they start to realize that they’re really bored and, or they feel like they don’t have a sense of purpose. And, and so they go to this big, the next phase is self-reflection. Um, did you find yourself in that position? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I was so depressed. Missile, DJ connection. Like right now talking about it kind of makes me feel, um, cause I love deejaying.  

I loved it. You know? I mean, I’m happy what I do now, but I loved it. I mean, um, after I sold it, I realized, what am I? I am good at business. I’ve done a few now on I’m kind of bunny. And somebody called and said, could you speak? Cause I won the entrepreneur of the year award for the small business administration for the great state of Oklahoma, you know, where they audit your financials and they name somebody, you know?  

So I like, that’s pretty cool. It’s kind of an invasive audit, but it was worth it as a candidate or is this just like one of those things where they just pick the businesses, they nominate you and it’s not like, you know, it was like magazines or if you buy an ad, you can be like one of Oklahoma’s top 40, 40.  

Because it’s a small bit, this administration, you get nominated, but it’s like SBA, you know, they do all the small business loans. They’re not going to like award somebody who’s bogus, you know? So they’re like hand over your financials, which isn’t fun. You know what I mean? So you gotta explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.  

So you go through this and, and Rose Washington asked me to speak, she’s the lady who signed my award, which I put in a few of the books, so people can see it. Um, and she said, could you speak on entrepreneurship? I thought, okay. You know, and I’m a VJ. So if you’re a disc jockey, what do you do? You get paid to make people laugh and to segue songs?  

You know? So I was giving a talk of thriving, moving beyond surviving, and I had the people kind of laughing and I thought I have like a comedy club almost and like a comedy. I feel like you want to call me eat more laughing, like you’re in a comedy club because I just kept going and doing what I normally do.  

You know what I’m deejaying? Except I didn’t have the, the music to play inside the little beat boxing and did a little bit of stuff. And at top people lined as it pops, you know, make sure everybody gets an action item out of this. What’s Pete terribly, the Cupid shuffle, you know, before what kind of sixties and 70 year old dentists here, what kind of professionals are going to go to a wedding?  

You’re going to go to a wedding and there’s going to be one man at the wedding who can dance. Well, And all of you, men will not be that man. Cause we have a lot of Caucasians here. So I’m going to teach you all one booth. That’d be called the moon, the moon when you’re at the wedding. And that, that, that fancy man who can dance well is out there dancing with all the wives.  

You don’t have to wait to have four beers first because you’re going to have a moot. We’re going to teach you the sidestep and the cubit show. So I’m teaching with them on Tuesday. I know the white guy moves and they’re like, Ooh, this is good. So I have all these people standing up doing this at the end of the talk people clap.  

Like that was awesome. I don’t smile. They should wait. He comes up and goes, you you’re like a business comedian. I’m going, what does that mean? So I talked to my wife, Hey, what is that? What do you, is that a thing? She was, I think it’s a thing. And so I got, got an account. Um, with, uh, uh, speaking ladies, you know, agent talked to her and basically, well, my resume, she was like, I could get you like, hell gigs.  

You know, like what you’re doing, like the, like the exec 9:00 AM talk on a two day Vegas conference, like a 9:00 AM, the 9:00 AM speaker on a Saturday, Vegas after a Friday in Vegas. You’re that guy. Well, not you’re, you’re going to be like a can open I’m like, is that a thing? So I became the can opener for big things.  

So like, um, the United it’s the exp it’s a big real estate company. Or the, uh, international community bankers association, you know, Joe, Montana’s the keynote and I’m like, page seven. Everyone’s going, who is that? Okay. And I’m the can opener. So my job is to always follow the big, to open up the morning after breakfast, or even do a talk while you’re eating breakfast, which is terrible.  

Cause no one’s paying attention. They’re not even facing you. Ables are circular. It’s ridiculous. So my job is to get them going or the anchor gig where after lunch, my job is to get up there and.  

so I have to talk and anyway, I ended up becoming a business comedian kind of thing, you know? And so I kind of took off and then the big company, they asked me to do consulting and then I found my flow state about 10 years ago. Whereas it’s, um, helping people grow their company while being funny, not like my marketing pitch, but that’s what I do.  

Yeah. Okay. Well, let’s go there. Walk us through what it’s like to work with you. Um, I’ll walk you through a person. I just helped out this morning. He is a pediatric dentist. And if you have all your listeners will Google, um, Tulsa, pediatric dentists, or Tulsa, pediatric dentistry. Um, if you look for that, you’ll find Mauro lye and Kinderman Morrow line Kidman.  

And dr. Morrow is a very smart man. And, uh, um, I. Took algebra three times and our tomorrow’s a Denton and I got kicked out of college and the irony is everywhere and he who has a degree in many degrees and is very smart. Is asking the Butthead. So it’s like Batman in the Butthead, he’s Batman Butthead, he’s asking Butthead for help.  

And so, you know, cause he kind of thinks that I must be not that sharp if I don’t have a degree and I dress like Adam Sammer, I wear a baseball Jersey everyday. I wear a hat that says boom. And on the back of it, it says Vanessa and I wear shorts that I bought for nine 99. And I started a program. There’s an one shorts at Walmart, by the way.  

And then I started. Three years ago called woolwork for Yeezys. And so whenever my clients hit their goal, they retroactively have to pay me easy. So I don’t make them do it by passive. So they keep giving me easiesSo I’m wearing these Yeezys and I got my hat on and the bat baseball Jersey. And, um, he says, uh, can I trust you?  

I mean, that’s, I mean, that’s what he’s thinking either. He says that he was thinking every time I said, yeah, sure. And I take them through a 13 point assessment where we start off looking at what are your goals for your life? And when you ask somebody that, and you’re a business consultant and they’re like, I don’t want to walk on hot coals.  

I just want to grow my business. And you say, I know, but what are your goals? You find out his goals, which is kind of a semi retire. You know what I mean, to kind of get into a flow state where he doesn’t have to work as much and you find out his goals and you forgot how many patients do we need to get to, to achieve that goal.  

We start there and step two, we do an assessment of all the branding, you know, logo, website, print piece. Does it look good or does it look good? You know, does it look good or hood? That’s how we go into next, which is your marketing. I call a three legged marketing stool, but what are the three ways that are turnkey that we get patients that don’t require you to do anything?  

It’s like an automated flow automated system, you know, and most people don’t have that. So we set that up. Then we set up the sales system. Which we’re in Oklahoma. So it’s a one way state, but in Colorado, it’s a one way state. Some States are Tuesday, Tuesday, uh, two-way States, but basically where some States you can’t record calls.  

But most States you can, if you disclose, you’d say for quality assurance, it’s called, they’ll be recorded. And we make sure we get that call recording installed. I like to use a company called clarity voice, and then I help them write scripts and we install video cameras in the lobbies and, you know, making sure that the customer service is next level.  

We paint the inside, make a distinctive decor, make the atmosphere awesome. The sights, the sounds, the smells. It’s an experience audit. And we make the wholesale system great. All the emails make sense, you know, the whole thing. And then we focus on our conversion rate the next, and then tracking. Then we get into accounting then right about the time we’re making a lot of money.  

People start to say, I can’t find good employees. And that’s where we plug in our HR system, where we help them find and recruit the talent they need. And they don’t have to pay me a markup, pretty plug it in staffing agency without having to pay me a fee. And then our services month to month, $1,700 a month.  

I tell them to make a 20% margin and I’ll show him how to do it. And most of our clients stick around, which is why we really never have availabilities. Yeah, that’s interesting. Um, I was going to say you don’t have to give prices, but it’s, um, it’s actually pretty cool that, that it’s just that transparent and, and I doubly like that you are even.  

Transparent with your clients and say, Hey, you know, based on 1700 bucks, you know, here’s my take. Just so we’re all on the same page. Well, for haircut, for a hair business, we do $42 haircuts and I make $2 per haircut. That’s what I pay myself. And, you know, I’d tell them, it’s like, I think it’s important.  

You know what I mean? Transparency is so important. And when people, when you’re a marketing guy, you do this, you, you, you, I mean, you’ve worked with the jazz, the dollar shave club. You don’t make, you don’t get ahead. You don’t get the clients that you have by screwing people with bait and switch prices.  

But you know that most SEO firms that are not yours, I mean, not all, but you know what I mean? There’s a lot of them that are playing little games. I mean, just one of my clients this week got locked into an SEO contract years ago with a company, not like yours, where they would, every time that they would, they would run ads.  

On Edwards, they would like double the price, you know, like double the price, triple the price book ads. And so forever, she thought she was just paying the cost of the ads. And then I guess one person made a mistake and forwarded the email to the wrong person. And she saw we’re in bar code charges 4,000 on ad words, make sure to Mark up to 8,000.  

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You nailed it. And that’s why, that’s why I appreciated hearing that that’s your model so much and, and, you know, with the, and you are right about working with jazz and all of those opportunities came from, uh, the, the short version of the jazz is, um, I helped somebody out on LinkedIn. Uh, they were attracted to like a freebie kind of post I made where I’m like, here’s the real.  

Here’s what the SEL world is about. He signed up as a client. He referred me to him, somebody else within two weeks, that second guy I worked with for two days before he said, Hey, can I introduce you to the jazz? And like, those are the types of. Relationships and I’m sure you’re the same. Like, there’s probably been plenty of businesses that you’ve worked with that you could’ve never called called 

You could have never sent a postcard. You could send an email. There’s no way that you could have got past the gatekeeper without having provided value and transparency. Let’s do this. Let’s do a, uh, the thing you shouldn’t do on shows, let’s do a name drop buffet  

buffet. I’ve worked with Michael Levine. Um, who, if you Google search Michael Levine, he’s the PR consultant for he’s been listed as the PR consultant of choice. You can see him on Wikipedia for Michael Jackson, Prince Charlton Heston, Nike. I mean, just, just look about Michael Levine. Uh, I’ve worked with Lee Cockerel, the former executive vice president of Walt Disney world resorts.  

Um, on a book project, he managed to 40,000 employees, uh, NBA hall of Famer, David Robinson, you know, uh, we’ve worked with, um, uh, Oxy fresh. We’ve worked with the founder of Skype, Maurice Kanbar. He bought one third of downtown Tulsa and hired me to. Uh, help them grow that thing. I’ve worked with Hewlett Packard, Maytag O’Reilly’s um, I mean, just look, it goes on and on and on it, all it, all of it, all of it, all of it comes from referrals, from people who said this and helped me cause at a certain level, we’re not curious.  

And you know, we don’t want to work with someone and see if it works. We want to like work with someone who does work. You just want to go. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I like your cup, by the way. You do, by the way, do you, you SEO national implies you’re mostly national. Am I correct? Yeah. Yeah. Most of our clients are not local.  

Obviously we have some just, just because of the nature of being local, but office, when we get off this, I’m probably gonna hire you. So it’s like we have to hang up for transparency. So I’ll have to  

when we hang up, it’ll be like pick the middle. I’ll give you a credit card. All. Thanks for Claire. You’ve been a pleasure.  

Yeah, no, it’s, um, it’s great to hear those stories because I think that often gets lost in, um, modern marketing, especially with how much digital is taking off. Even with me being in the digital space, because I think what happens is there’s so many new shiny objects and it’s breeding, um, even more intensely, um, you know, instant gratification.  

And so people are always wanting to do, Hey, I can just, you know, let me turn on a funnel. Let me do an email blast. Like I just want cells set up building. A reputation, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, can I, can I go off on a small tangent without cursing? Is that okay? Yeah, you can. I will even let you curse if you feel so inclined.  

Okay, so here we go. I’m a, I’ve been working on decreasing the amount of times I curse per capita. I’m getting better psychology today. If your listeners look it up, the article is called. Is your smartphone making you dumb? Is your smart phone making you dumb? The average American right now is interrupted 90 times a day.  

90 90. I want all your listeners to look this up, look it up, please. Please look this up. Find it. I want you to do is fine. The thrive time show on Facebook somehow. Don’t don’t like me though. Don’t like me. Don’t friend me that don’t don’t know. Don’t do it. Promise me you won’t do it. Do it. Don’t engage.  

Just look for the posts where I got my client on, uh, good morning, America. Uh, just yesterday, the day before we’re recording this, I got them on good morning, America. The company is called living water irrigation and do a search for. Man buys eight billboards. So man buys eight billboards for white. What get up?  

Um, I got my client like thirties, I guess 36 features in the media yesterday. He’s on good morning, America, Michael stray, hands talking about them, you know, and because I know how the amygdala, I know how the amygdala works. The middle of the almond sized part of your brain. It’s like 2% of your brain.  

Right. But it controls your whole body for most people. Your amygdala. Controls your whole body. So people make these emotional decisions, right? So they call me and say, clay Clark, Oh man. I mean, this has already happened today. Multiple times, you got your client living water irrigation in good morning, America.  

That is probably why he’s tripled in size this year. And I would say to you, no, no, this is not how he, he made his money and you might say, but he did triple didn’t. He. Yes, he did triple his business. Did he triple it from, from my PR? No. When you would say clay, why do you do PR? Because it’s sexy. It’s like having a boob job or a nose job or makeup Lamborghini.  

It makes people think I must have my crap together. But it doesn’t help his sales at all. Literally not friend me do not like me do not retweet me, do not do business with me because of that, but that it was done just for sexiness. So my client said, I really want, I have these billboards I bought and I can’t get out of them and I’m trying to do something good with them.  

And I said, I know. And he always talks about his wife. Josh was always talking about his wife in a weird way. He’s been married for like five years, but he’s still like, Oh man, she’s gorgeous. I like it. Josh, how are you today? Oh, my wife is beautiful. I’m a dude. He’s like lovey up phase, but he’s been married for a long time.  

He’s absolutely the most guy ever. And I said, let’s just take what’s your, you can put it on a billboard, you know? Cause he’s getting no, no leads from the, you know, so he put Amy, I love you more. On a billboard. Amy, I love you more, some point I’d like to it now. Yeah. And literally he got on, I told him, I said, this is how it works.  

And I did all the PR I got him on good morning America. And it was easy to do easy, but there’s no money he got from it. He got zero money. There’s no money. He’s gotten from this, but it feels sexy. So it’s like, Oh, I got a bunch of likes. Look at me, I’m on a podcast with him. Bearded warrior. And I got 


bougie. Oh yeah. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Generate revenue. It’s the reputation you talked about. So Josh literally does a great job every day. That’s step one everyday. They, they, they wild their customers everyday. They, they bid and they come under the bed everyday. They always over deliver under promise.  

Step one, step two, they get an objective review from every happy customer. Every day three, they add a page of content to their website every day. That’s all they do, man. That’s it. That’s literally the entirety of the marketing, the program. Is that any dominance? That’s it. That’s all he does. You might say, is there something else?  

Yeah. Retargeting ads follow them around on it’s the diligence. Now I’ve worked with another company. I won’t mention their name or the state they’re in. They might be in Belgium, who knows? But they were an irrigation company and every time they got a deal, you know what they did, you know what they did, Damon, what did they do? 

 Clay screwed it up every time. People are calling complaining. They’re getting bad reviews, right? So quit polishing, get awesome at something over deliver. And then don’t do business with me because we help the client get to good, good morning, America do biz me, look up the clients, the boring ones who are super success.  

That’s that’s the key is consistency. Maybe. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Reputation with consistency. And I feel like Josh is my marriage spirit animal, because I’ve been married for 13 years. And I consistently talk about my wife and I’m a little sad now that he outplayed me. No. And the thing is that this, I feel well, I’ve been married 18 years and I feel like I’m like a pro wife guy, but this church.  

This guy sat in a bar that nobody could possibly live up to. What kind of man has eight billboards proclaiming his love? I mean, come on. What do I have to get nine? Now? You can’t, you can’t even do the billboards now because somebody will connect the dots that you took. The timestamp on Josh’s billboards is before your billboards.  

Maybe I should put Vanessa. I love you more than Josh. Well, I like that one because then you’re acknowledging the origination of that. It’s funny. All right. So, um, you got a new book coming out. Is it out, is it out now or is it coming out? Yes. Yes. I, uh, search engine domination is my newest book and the one that came out just right before that was dragon energy and their way they’re both kind of came up.  

Right. Sips and more times we can talk about whatever book is best for your book. Well, you know, I’m, I’m obviously from the search engine world and having search engines in your book title takes me there. So tell me what the book’s about. Yeah. Um, the book is about, um, getting out of the woo phase, you know, the Wu phase of SEO, um, and I’m, and you’ve seen this, there’s a man who comes up on stage at a seminar  

Usually it’s at some sort of trade event and I’ll kind of imitate the man he’s like search engine optimization. Search engine optimization. What if you could be top of Google? How much money could you be making? I mean, can you make a doubt? Could you be making millions? Could you be making any, he just keeps doing that and the rhetorical is, and he’s like, and all there’s just little secrets now the problem is Google’s always changing minute by minute.  

It changed right now. It’s changed over there. They were all paranoid looking around and looking for Google to be changing words. And he’s like, and I have the secret keys and at my next seminar, if you pay me now, my next seven, you pay me now I will teach you the MOOCs. So you go to it, right? You drop eight, GS nine GS, you’re dropping more GS.  

You have a lot of GS, like you’re like you’re on death row records. You just a ton of Jesus. You get there like 27 steps, right? But you only teach, they only, only have time to teach you six of the steps. And there’s usually a famous guy there too. You know, it’s like today’s SEO. We have a guy who used to be a character on Seinfeld here, oddly and attendance, you know, and you keep signing up for more certifications and programs and you don’t actually ever get any traction.  

My book is written for people like myself who are, are simple minded who are just saying, I want to know the specific steps I need to take to do it myself. And what I have found is that two thirds of people would rather do business with a guy like you Damon, rather than say, I would rather just hire you because it works.  

And I’d rather you do it cause it’s complicated, you know? Cause I want to be a dentist. It’s almost like a whole different niche you have to master. And then a third of people are just poor enough or motivated enough or whatever that is, who want to do it themselves. And I represent team poor and I would like to help poor people, be able to get to the top of Google without paying astronomical piece.  

Well, I feel like you just stole all my thunder because I have a book called outrank coming out and, and it’s, I think our content will be wildly different because as we were talking before we started recording, uh, your yours largely presents like case studies and data and before and after examples.  

Yeah. That’s what it does. It’s just like, here’s a specific client. Here’s how we help them. Here’s what you can do. Here’s how it works. Yeah, and I like that because it’s so, so our, our books. Are the intention of our books sounds very similar, but the content is very different. Um, I like, uh, I like yours because, um, it’s just like, Hey, here, here’s what works and, and, you know, take from it what you want.  

And it’s not a sales pitch. And, and so, um, You know, I go a different route. Mind’s kind of like the here’s what works and here’s how, here’s how SEO national does it. And it doesn’t have the micro case studies, but at the end of the day, I like that approach that you’re doing because, um, it’s exactly what you said.  

So for you, you get to help the small guys and then attract the big guys. And so it’s like a win-win so congrats. It was 160. I appreciate it, man. You know, with 160 clients who’ve been with me for years, I asked him, you know, can I put your actual domain and your actual first and last name in the book? You know, and so a lot of my clients are getting calls from SEO companies who are saying, I know you work with clay Clark and his company make your life.  

That’s awesome. But we can do a better cause that’s the, Oh, has changed. And they’re like, yeah, we know, we know. Thank you, goodbye. So I’m okay. But I know a lot of times we don’t want to necessarily list all of our clients because you know how it goes, then the competitors reach out and try to send them some weird looking SEO report to make them look bad.  

But. Um, you know, companies like you, I mean, long time and you’ve got, you know, loyal relationships and, and, uh, thankfully our, our clients allowed us to have featured them in the book. Well, congratulations on that. Um, how, how long has it been out? Um, right now is only one of these 60 days. Um, we hit on the Amazon bestsellers list, which I think is, um, easily gamed.  

I don’t know how relevant it is or not, but I, I, we, when you type in search engine optimization on Amazon, usually we’re one of the first 10 books buy books that comes up there five or 10 books. And we’ve been up there number one a few times. And, uh, we’re uh, we make, uh, if you go to the best SEO, um, it’s uh, um, let me pull it up here  

It’s thrive. Time. Forward slash the best S C O book free. So it’s thrive. Time. the best S E O book free. Again, thrive time, forward slash the best SEO book free. You can get the free ebook download and you can check it out. And I have a video right there where you can listen to real clients expressing how it’s helped them.  

And that’s where they can, you know, check it out. Yeah, I’m going to go check that out myself. Um, you know, I was writing mine, I went through and there was, there was five SEO books. I won’t, I won’t say which ones they are. Um, but I went through and purchased five SEL books just to kind of see what the market was like with SEL books.  

There was maybe one that was decent and maybe a second that I guess was okay, but. You know, the other three I felt or were underrepresenting the capabilities of, of a strong SEO strategy and, or they were just really fluffy. So, so it sounds like your book’s going to kind of close that gap. I’m excited to go check it out.  

You know, the book search engine for dummies was written by Bruce Clay and I’ve had him on my show before. And that book is like, Awful and great. Like it’s so technical and so truthful, you know, but so technical and I’m dyslexic. So I don’t know if the listeners know that, but I read. Probably in the way I talk where I’m talking to you.  

And then I have a thought over here and I come back. And so when I’m doing reading a book, I’m like squirrel squirrelSo I have to take a highlighter and just read slow and ask myself what was that page about? Oh, that awesome. But I’ve implemented most of the things in Bruce play’s book, and I don’t have a lot of credit for teaching me and we’ve hired his firm a lot, Bruce and they’ve done a great job for us.  

Yeah, he’s that? I didn’t read his, um, obviously blue Bruce Clay is well-respected guy in the SEO space, so I’m familiar with them, but, um, yeah, I haven’t caught his well clay. Um, let’s, uh, get close and close to wrapping things up. I want to ask you maybe one or two more questions, um, out of all of this, all the success that you’ve found in working with other companies, what have you learned about yourself through this journey?  

Um, I was a, as a kid growing up, I was a stutter and we didn’t have a lot of money. And so I got made fun of a lot. You know, when you, when you wear the same thing every day and you were dyslexic, you know, it’s and you stutter. I mean, you know what I mean? It’s tough. So I went through all of that. Um, and I was, I wasn’t still very much am I, my natural calling is to be alone.  

Like I’m, I’m, I’m more comfortable alone than with people, you know, I’ve had to learn to lean in towards people. And I’ve learned through the process of achieving success. That success is very attainable for everyone listening, including you, mr. Listener, mrs. Listener, um, you, you can do it, but it requires diligence, you know?  

And so I’ve interviewed on my podcast now, millionaires and billionaires and billionaires bolt, gang puck. John Maxwell’s and all these big names on the thrive time show over and over on the thrive time show millionaires, billionaires. I mean the head of Adobe, big names, guy Kawasaki. And I always ask him, I say, what time do you wake up?  

And I keep hearing the craziest thing. They all say a time before six. Now I’m not saying you can’t be successful if you don’t wake up before six. I’m just saying I’ve yet to have somebody I’ve interviewed. Who’s super successful. That doesn’t answer that way. You know, and if you ask him, like, do you ever take a sick day?  

They always are saying, no, I usually take DayQuilSo I have found that it’s about break ups and trade offsSo I have found for me because I’m really not interested in being super successful anymore. Um, I am not willing to do certain things anymore. I do wake up at 3:00 AM every day. It’s like I have for a long, long time, but I do not want to work till eight o’clock anymore.  

You know, I usually leave at two or three. So for me, a 12 hour, Workday is a short one for me. But it used to be like 18 hours a day. You know what I mean? Um, I’m not willing to fly, to meet a client ever again. I don’t do it anymore. I used to fly all the time. I won’t fly for media. Why make the certain trip, but I’m not, but I’m okay with it.  

I’m honest what I’m saying. I’m not going to make the trade offsSo what I’ve learned is that trade offs are a big thing and nothing’s worse than wanting to have success, but not be that being willing and to do what’s needed. What’s required the tradeoffs, you know, I want to get into shape. I want to eat sugar and drink alcohol a bread.  

I want to be in shape, but I want that bread. And there’s these two arguments, the two conflicting diametrically opposed idea, bread, or getting in shape, probably get the op pump it. I went to Pompey. I want to eat the bread. I want to plop it. You’re going back to the forest and you’ve got to decide, are you going to have cognitive dissonance eating bread while doing weights?  

Or are you going to be the bread man? Bread boy, the bread guy, or are you gonna be the weight? The workout guy. And you’ve got to decide bags of chicken. Broccoli and water or bread and sweet and alcohol. Are you, what are you gonna be? John Belushi. Are you going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger? And you gotta decide nothing’s worse than trying to be both tradeoffs for your marriage, your business trade offs 

I think, uh, I’m falling more in love with you clay as we talk. Um, and you know, it’s, it’s interesting to hear it in the perspective of, uh, tradeoffs. Um, I think that there’s so much that. Goes into that, that, well, I’m not going to do any justice beyond what you already said. So I agree. Can I go ahead? I want clarity real quick.  

I said, thank you for letting me harass your guests. I wanted to share this. Hey cam, we’ve all heard this, but I’ll maybe try to do it an artful way. Clem creates a Pearl, but there has to be a little bit of irritation. Like I like a little piece of sand that goes in there and just irritated. Yeah, irritates that oyster and just makes that always through upset.  

Not always. You’re like get out of here, get out of here. I don’t want you in there. You know, I don’t like a Tasmanian devil irritating and then bam, through that pressure comes a Pearl and you go, Oh, I love that. But it’s an irritant, a carbon dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs. They once roamed the earth. They, they, the little small arms, the little baby arms, the time of the dinosaurs Rex, he died.  

He was composed. Yeah. If fossil fuels pressure pressure pressure over time creates these, these fossil fuels. It creates diamonds and you know, that’s how a lot of people in the middle East are driving. Mercedes Benz is there’s pressure on the earth, making the fossil fuels and making diamonds. And so you have to have somebody harassing you.  

So in pushing it, somebody’s mentoring you. And I hope that this podcast you’re listening to right now that, that Damon’s podcast today’s show show can be that little irritate you need. And so it’s a little gift, toyed, a little gift for your listeners. If you’re listening right now, if you will subscribe to the learning.  

From others podcasts. So subscribe to Damon’s podcasts, not mine, I guess. Don’t you, you do not subscribe to my, you subscribed today. This podcast, learning from others, podcasts, subscribe to it and then leave him a review. I need to know you left them. If you don’t play the game where you said you did leave a review, screenshot that beast.  

And send it to, uh, Damon, however he wants it, send it to Damon. And if you’ll do that, um, and you’ll, you’ll do that. That’s great. That way he knows you did it, but if you send the proof of that to me, info at thrive time, If you send a proof of the review to info at thrive time,, I will allow you to come to one of my conferences, which we have every two months for $37 as opposed to $250.  

And it’s a two day inner work interactive workshop. You can learn about it, the thrive time And it’s normally two, but if you’ll leave my main man Daymond review and subscribe to his show, um, I will let you attend for $37. Cause that’s what it costs me. Well, clay, I appreciate you pimping us out and I appreciate your gesture to the listeners and thrive.  

That’s T H R I V E time clay card. You’ve been a pleasure. You want to throw out any last, uh, contact information or, um, bits of wisdom to the listeners. I would just say this, if you’re out there today and you think you have something to lose. You’re wrong. I’ve lost a lot of people close to me, and I know that life is fragile.  

I lost my dad to Lou Gehrig’s disease. A few years back. I lost my best friend in the car accident. I had my DJ equipment stolen one time and it was a lot of equipment like cars broken into I’ve had brick thrown through the back of my vehicle by an employee who was not so happy with me. I don’t think, I don’t think maybe they were showing me appreciation, but I’ve had things happen.  

And if you feel like I have a beautiful car and I don’t want to drive it, so it doesn’t get a scratch. I have a beautiful business idea, but I want to start it because I don’t want to maybe get rejected. You’re going to lose by default. So you’ve got to get out there to you and just say, you know what? I got one life to live.  

I’m going to give it all I can give you and do your best. Just do your best. Do your best. Forget the stress you’re going to, Oh, you’re going to have stress stress. And through stress, through the struggle you gain strength through the struggle. You’re going to gain strength. And if you are the one who’s going to be the irritant that the fee, the game changer, the business owner, you are going to have some enemies.  

Some haters, some setbacks, some adversity, because you are the one who changes things. If you’re going to be that person, you gain your strength through struggle. So when you start to hit struggle, keep pressing, keep pushing and you’ll get to get better business muscles, and you’re going to be more diligent, more consistent, and you’re gonna find yourself.  

It becomes easier. And the habits you used to have that held you back, hitting this news all the time. Not. Not committing the things, not getting things done. Those are all going to drift away and you’re going to be super successful, but don’t let the chains of where you used to be. Keep you stuck. You can do it.  

I’m not smart. I have no skill. I’m not beautiful. I’m a man bear pig. Listen to me. I’m an idiot. Okay. You can, if I can do it, you can do it now. Damond could do it. If a man with a beautiful beard, look at it. He’s just beautiful, man. He’s unrealistic. Aye. Aye. Aye. Come on. I’ve set the bar pretty low. You guys can do it.  

Come on now, learning from others nation. Get out there and take some action today. So what are you gonna do? Are you gonna go to and email me to and leave a review and attend to my conference. Or are you going to listen to another one of Damon’s shows and take notes, but do something don’t do nothing because vision without execution is hallucination.  

Thomas Edison vision without execution is hallucination so much regret that debt. Perfect clay Clark Me and my beard. Thank you, sir. 

What did you think of this podcast?

Today’s guest found opportunities in small niches and continued to snowball those gains to go on to build and sell several million dollar companies before the age of 40.

Probably one of the podcasts I’ve laughed the most on, please welcome self-proclaimed, and I tend to agree, “business comedian,” Clay Clark.

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