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The Power of the Min with Clayton Borah
Episode 2510th June 2022 • Radical Resilience • Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:22:48

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Clayton Borah quit his day job to run his side business full-time, only to have sales come to a crawl.

Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.


About the Guest:

Clayton Borah is a leadership coach who helps executives and entrepreneurs stop focusing on just delivering goods and services and start focusing on becoming unstoppable leaders in their industry. As part of his signature framework, Clayton teaches his clients how to avoid being spread too thin so they can find time to acquire the skills of a fearless leader: living with visible principles, getting to a place of self-acceptance, and growing their resilience, and more.

He brings over 25 years of leadership skills to his clients, working at for-profit organizations in the fitness and real estate industries and nonprofit organizations with international rescue and aid missions. He has also served on the boards of several nonprofits geared towards community development. He lives in Nampa, Idaho, with his wife and two children.

 

Instagram @cbborah

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cborah

claytonborah.com


About the Host: 

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. As a pioneer in the industry, she has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, launch their businesses, and more. Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 bestselling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur and co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “The Resilience Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.


Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info 



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Transcripts

Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real. Here we are. Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan, Venables, your host, and I'm here today with Clayton Borah. He is a leadership coach who helps executives and entrepreneurs stop focusing on just delivering goods and services and start focusing on becoming unstoppable leaders in their industry. He brings over 25 years of leadership skills to his clients working at for profit organizations in the fitness and real estate injury industries, and nonprofit organizations with international rescue and a missions. You just that's so rad. And he's also served on the boards of several nonprofits geared towards community development. He lives in Idaho with his wife and two children. On today, we're going to talk about a time where he had to be resilient. Hey, Clayton Borah. How are you today? Good. I'm so excited to talk to you today, you know, just offline. I said, Do you want to talk about this what I'm about to talk about? He's like, we can talk about that or something else. So who knows where this conversation is going to go? Yeah, so what just like for the listeners out there, I know tons of people and I, I realized I need to be really organized. So I set up a form. So anyone who wants to be on the podcast fills out a form. And it is allows me to be like, organized with introductions and the assets I need. And so in the form, Clayton said, when I asked him like, what do you want to talk about? When did you have to be resilient, he talked about something that a lot of us entrepreneurs can relate to. And what he said was, I quit my day job to run my side business full time, only to have sales come to a crawl. And I never like to assume anything, but this doesn't have to do with something that rhymes with man. I was gonna rhyme pandemic with something.

Clayton Borah:

But does that even? No, no, it doesn't.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Okay, so tell me your story. Tell us.

Clayton Borah:

So I was, will I have a long story. So we'll just focus on this little this little bit here. So I was working for one of these nonprofits. It was an international aid mission as a graphic designer and my wife and I had probably I'm trying to remember probably about three years prior to this, opened a CrossFit gym. And that was, so I was doing both I was running, running a business coaching in that CrossFit gym, and then working full time as a graphic designer for this aid mission agency. And it was just getting to the point where I was like, I was struggling to do both, but I'm viewing it as two different two ships, and I'm trying to get them closer and closer together before I hop from one ship to the other. And it got to this point where I was like having to turn away sales because I didn't have time to meet with potential clients. I was having said, No, I don't have time to meet with you. And so you're kind of struggling like, Alright, we've added this many members, it was a decent amount we'd added like 20 over the course of two months was like our best months ever. Like okay, I'm seeing movement I'm seeing like when things are going in the right direction, turned in my two weeks at my job. And I was like that's a whole other story of that place, but started going into the into working on the gym full time and then is like, as soon as I quit my job like the phone stopped ringing, email stopped coming in. It was just crickets and like, Oh, I just gave up all of my income because my wife would quit working a few years prior. So we were basically living on my one the one income from the graphic design that I was doing for a nonprofit, which didn't pay well and then a little bit from the gym. And so basically all of our income went away. And we're like, holy crap. What are we gonna do now?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Whoa, oh my gosh. So stressful. Yeah. So So what did you do? How are you doing?

Clayton Borah:

Yeah, so there's, we're still gonna say like, here's the one thing that I did right? And life is never really for me. It's never like that it seems from the outside, maybe it's like that somebody does changes one thing and all of a sudden they've got everything figured out. But um, I My gut feeling is that it's a lot of different things. So one of the things that I really leaned into is I had a business mentor that was like, saw what was happening, and I really leaned in on him to give me some guidance on what to do. But the big thing that I started to do was develop my own kind of practice about how to build resilience. Because like, I was, my head turned into a bag of cats, I was scrambling and climbing at every sort of, like marketing gimmick I could come up with to try to make money. And I'm like, none of this, like really resonates with me, and I don't like my business anymore. And it was just, it was rough. So I was like, I have got to wrangle the cats that are in my head. And so I started, like studying, I'll say, study just reading a little bit of stoic philosophy, and taking some time out of my day to really try to understand, like what is in within my control, what is not within my control, and learning to let go of the things that are not within my control? And, and then a bunch of other stuff along the way. But that's really where I started was just trying to get get a hold of my, my thinking and my mindset.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

And that's so interesting, because mindset is so important, right? And what if you would have had these tools before going into what you did? Because you probably had to hit some sort of rock bottom of sorts before you started implementing tools? Like when was it that you realize like, Okay, I need to do X, Y, and Z? And what were those things that you did?

Clayton Borah:

Didn't really good questions, where

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I love asking questions, as you knows me, it's like how I have conversations.

Clayton Borah:

So I got, like I said, like, we were just like we had, I could see the writing on the wall that, hey, we are like, we're growing, I need to I need to do this thing. So it's like kind of a projection. And we've talked a little bit about in business about projecting, like future budgets. And so you can kind of make plans. So like, I was thinking those boats are close together, it's time to jump from, from one to the other. And so I mean, rock bottom was just the fact that, hey, we don't have any income like that. We have another we have a couple other coaches here at our gym, I have to pay them I have rented all of the stuff that I thought was going to be coming in that I would be able to replace my design income with was just, it was just not there. So I was just, I mean, we just kind of sat down like, okay, what can we cut out of our budget, we're doing all the things. And that's, that's really, in this situation, like, what was the rock bottom was just like, a month after quitting my job, like we had nothing. And that that's a really scary place to be. So um, so on a recommendation from, from my business mentor, I started reading a book called The Daily stoic, and it's like a daily devotional kind of reading thing. And there's, there's a journal that goes with it, I don't have the journal, I just sort of coming up with my own ways of like, journaling and thinking about this. So I'd read through the thing and be like, Okay, how does this apply to my life right now? And then how can I show up in a, like a, in this area better today. And, and just gradually, day after day, I began to stop scrambling all over the place, trying to do all the different things and become getting more focused on the things that are really going to move the needle forward in our business. So we started focusing on like, retention, like, hey, people will come, it's going to be okay, but first, we need to make sure that nobody's leaving, because that makes it even worse. And it's easier to keep somebody than to find somebody new. And then, and then it just took a lot of trial and error, just like the things actually actually turn the business around was just trial and error through marketing and advertising stuff to make that happen. But for me, personally, like the resilience that I was trying to build, it came with like, Okay, here's things that I'm not good at, that the business needs. And I'm going to have to do those things. Nobody else is going to do for me. Here's stuff like I can project onto it. These are all the things that I'm afraid is going to happen. But what really what's the worst that's going to happen? can I survive that? Yeah, totally. There's maybe some embarrassment. Maybe we go in, you know, we have to cut our budget a little bit more, or whatever, but we're going to be okay, so I need to do this challenging thing. I need to have this difficult conversation with a coach and say, Hey, I'm going to cut your hours back because I need to pick up more were and it was a bummer for them. But but it was something that needed to happen. And so just with that daily practice of trying to better myself and thinking about kind of the the mindset stuff that's around building resilience, like working on that, in kind of a theoretical sense, like kind of processing that and journaling and stuff, but then actually putting an action plan together to say, this is how I'm going to go do that today. Even if it makes me uncomfortable.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Oh, my gosh, thank you for sharing all of that. So much wisdom there. Like if you're listening, and this is impactful, pause it, rewind it, there's gonna be a big crack of thunder as I'm talking. I'm sidebar. I just moved to where I am. That's my first like, full summer here. And where I was, there used to be no thunderstorms, and I love thunderstorms. Oh, can you hear it? Probably not. Anyways,

Clayton Borah:

you're a little bit I love I love them as well. They're awesome.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I grew up in the prairies in Manitoba, Canada, and there's such good prairie storms. And then when I moved out west, I never really got them. But this new blue new place, I live half of them. So it's very exciting. So I mean, mindsets so important. And like having daily rituals and daily practices, how you kind of strengthen that muscle. And it's interesting, because I talked about how to strengthen your resilience muscle, and one of them is practicing gratitude. So and I know like practicing gratitude every day, for at least 21 days, at the same time where you practice, you know, listing three things you're grateful for. I do it every day, right, and I have an alarm that goes off every day at 9pm. It's my gratitude alarm, and it changes the neural pathways in your brain. Do you have any other exercises or anything that you make sure you have you do almost every single day or every single day that helps you stay in that mindset? And has part two of that question is it has it started to shift your energy in a way where clients are coming in members are coming in people are getting stronger at your CrossFit gym?

Clayton Borah:

Yeah, yeah. Totally. So my I have a morning ritual that started with me just doing that book and has grown to something. So I get up before my kids, I make myself a cup of coffee, I have some water to be intentional about hydration, like doing things with with ritual and with intention, I think helps cement things that we wait for things to be happen like haphazardly. We wait to Hey, someday I'll have the resilience to do this thing. Good luck, like it's better to be prepared. And you alluded to that earlier, like, what if I learned all this stuff earlier? Right? So anyway, water, coffee, I sit down and I read something. And that varies from a lot of different things. But something that is going to challenge the way that I see the world a little bit, and then I'll reflect on that. And then I'll write questions or answer the questions like How, how does this impact like me, where am I at in relationship to this? Where can I be better at that? And then what is an action step today that I can take to move forward on this? This isn't just baby steps every day. But so after I actually write before I read something i or i write down there, I will do my three gratitudes. So I write down three things that I am grateful for, because that was oh, it was huge. And the fact that you brought that up, like reminded me how huge that is. That was something that my business mentor made me start doing because they like I was just so pessimistic about my business and everything and they wouldn't not let me talk about what was wrong, unless I talked about what was right first, and it took me a year to understand how important that is like I just, it felt dumb. It felt really cheesy, but it totally transformed. The way I see everything. It's amazing.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Like, practicing gratitude is just so important. So if anyone out there listening has been following along and I don't want to Sure, Clayton how much you know about me but in the last like year and a half, had a miss like my husband almost died a few years ago, he had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. A year later, after being told I couldn't get pregnant, got pregnant had a miscarriage. A couple weeks later, his father died suddenly, three months later, my mother died suddenly and a year after not even four months ago, my father died. And almost every single day we practice practice gratitude sitting while holding my dying parents hand. You know coming home from the hospital after the miscarriage no matter what we practice gratitude. And sometimes my gratitude is something as simple as grateful for free medical care, because I couldn't imagine how much the miscarriage would have cost in America but like grateful for Advil and that the day is over and then you know, it's funny because sometimes when I'm not if I don't like my alarm goes off, or it's nine o'clock and I don't do gratitude, because I'm a human too and sometimes I'm in a bad mood and like I don't want to do it. My husband who doesn't really believe in the similar things like I would say I'm I'm pretty Whoo. Like I like I love the metaphysical space and spiritual space and he's not but he knows it's so important to me that you know, if I don't do it, he'll start doing it he'll he'll get it we do it together. And you know, even if I'm mad like something He does something and I'm mad at him or like, I'm annoyed or like, whatever, like we do it anyways. And it's a really beautiful ritual. And it's something so easy that anyone can implement and what you're saying about rituals and stuff. It's so interesting So years ago, so I left Lululemon at the age of 23, and started my business like, I really should have started my business and kept my job. But like, I didn't really, I thought I was invincible. And I mean, I am like I, you know, but But you know, still here, they learned I learned a lot the hard way. And why when I started my PR company, I also started a coupon company, a health and wellness coupon company. And it's because Lululemon gave me free yoga, and I still wanted free yoga, and I couldn't figure out how to do it. And it was so expensive. And I was living in the most expensive city, running a business. And I was like, I don't know what I'm doing, I need free yoga. And I couldn't figure it out. So I basically built a health and wellness coupon, like book, then online and group by model. And I went to all the places in Vancouver, I wanted to try and part of what I did was, I actually created something and this is before Instagram before Pinterest. But I created a free embeddable widget that people were able to implement and put on their websites that had positive sayings. It was called the daily emotional forecast. And so it was a gift and be like, Oh, Clayton, you can put this on your website, I'll have positive messages. And it had our branding, which is so interesting that I came up with that. And then my mom and I started messaging each other every day, really positive things like just stay in that energy. And I didn't know anything about mindset. It's just what we did. It's like I intuitively knew, but I didn't like No, no, you know? Yes, yes. But it's so interesting that we're talking about this because your ritual of getting up drinking water before coffee, which I always try to remind myself like, I want some coffee, like chug some water, put some lemon in it, have some apple cider vinegar, but you know, water, coffee, and then easing into your day. And I think morning rituals are so important, because how many people wake up, hit snooze, or hit snooze. You know, wake up, roll out of bed, make coffee, put their clothes on and start their day, and they don't ease into the day and are setting them up. For like you're saying sales up for potential disaster or like not in the right space.

Clayton Borah:

I mean, most people start their day by checking their email. And there's never anything good in email. I mean, rarely ever.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

So unless it's a newsletter from us,

Clayton Borah:

what yeah, of course. So like, you just get into this pattern of like, the drudgery and just like, you're immediately just weighed down with the, the 500 new emails you have or whatever. And so if you're doing that constantly, like No wonder you feel like everything is harder than it should be. And this, this idea of resilience of like overcoming obstacles, and like getting back up on the horse, when you fall, you fall off. Like, if you don't see anything good in your life, you're not going to want to get back on the horse. So you got to make that a priority to see it. Because without it, you're not going to keep going. And people are amazing. And they're trying to do amazing things in the world. And I would hate for them to give up. Because they don't know the power of gratitude.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

So good. So what advice do you have for an entrepreneur or someone who has left their business, they're fully relying on their business to generate income and sales completely slow down or dry up? Like what is if you didn't give that entrepreneur one piece of advice? What would it be?

Clayton Borah:

Cool. I would say, don't freak out. Spend some time getting a hold of your mind. And like the things that you actually have control over. So you control in that situation, the things you control over, you have control over our your response to that situation. So measure your response. shore up some of your systems so that maybe you can spend more time on sales and less time on some other things. But more of it's just going to be like trying to wrangle those the cats that are going to the distractions that are going to be how do I make money? How do I make money? How do I how do I solve this and it just taking a second to breathe? Think about the good things and and then make a plan to improve this a little bit every day. I know you asked for one thing. Like I said, there's never one thing ever one. Okay, that was amazing,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

though, like and so if people want to connect with you learn more about you if they're in your neck of the woods, or the urban center of the center near your urban center of the center. I don't know what the neck of the woods is for urban places, but if they're in your hood, and they want to like come check your space out, how can people get a hold of you?

Clayton Borah:

Well, so the best way like so through through all of this. I've started doing some resilience coaching for leaders. And that's like yours after the story we just talked about. So best place to get get a hold of me. It's Clayton bora.com. Get on my knees Melis I send out useful, helpful things. So connect with me there. And there's a, there's a free ebook there on the eight characteristics of an unshakable leader, download that check, check and see how you're doing litmus test on how you're doing on those qualities, and that'd be the best thing to do.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

And so what he just said was amazing, all the links are gonna be in the show notes and what he just said, this was years ago, look where he is now. I mean, we kind of skipped over that, because we have very limited time. And I mean, I feel like late and I could talk to you forever. But you went from having a job and a side hustle to having a business that had a bit of a drought to figuring it out, changing your mindset and overcoming that and building a very successful business. And now you teach other leaders this. And so if you're listening to this, and you're like, in that place, reach out, because resilience is not just about personal life, it's about business, too. You need to have resilience in every aspect of your life. And there's lots of ways to strengthen your resilience muscle, this podcast, our community, and people like Clayton, and I just want to thank you so much for coming on radical resilience, for sharing your story with us. I'm gonna go do the little tests and get your get your ebook, but I'm kind of scared to

Clayton Borah:

test it's not a test. It's just an ebook, you can just, but you can check in with different characteristics and self assess,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

okay, I'm gonna do an assessment. And, you know, everyone listening should too because we are all leaders in some aspect of our life, whether it's in our career, our family or friends circle, we are in charge of our own lives, we are in control of what we are in control of. And that's such an important message because there's so much out of our control. And again, if you've been following along, I've been in like a grief vortex. I know that right now really well. And so I can control practicing gratitude, just like you do. You can control what you do when you wake up and how you enter your day. You can control what you consume, you know, with your eyes and your ears and your mouth and everything. So thank you so much for coming in. Coming in coming on.

Clayton Borah:

It was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. So good.

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