Iron Man Mindset For Entrepreneurs With Robert Clinkenbeard

Episode 471: Iron Man Mindset For Entrepreneurs With Robert Clinkenbeard

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REIS 471 Robert Clinkenbeard | Ironman Mindset


Entrepreneurs need an Ironman mindset to succeed in business. Mitch Stephen’s guest is Robert Clinkenbeard, author of Ironman Mindset for Entrepreneurs. In this episode, Robert explains how you can have an Ironman mindset. You first have to define your goal. Then build a roadmap so you can check your progress along the way. Having the right people around you is also essential to keep pushing you to your full capacity. Join in the discussion to learn more! 

I’m here with Robert Clinkenbeard. This man specializes in coaching business owners and one-on-one professionals occasionally to reach a higher level in their life, usually dealing with some sophisticated people. Everyone’s got another level. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. There’s always another level to go to. With no further ado, how are you doing, Robert Clinkenbeard? 

I appreciate your invite onto the showMitch. It’s good to see you again. 

It’s my pleasure. We met at The Multipliers Mastermind in TulumThere were a lot of great guys there. Robert was one of themI asked him if he’d come on the show and he said yes. I’m elated. You’ve helped a lot of coaches in their time too. 

Only 40% of people realize their full capacity in life. Click To Tweet

That’s right, coaches and different business fields. I enjoy working with people who are interested in learning and taking themselves to another level. Only 40% of people realize their full capacity in life. I want to shake them up a level. 

What are some of the game-changing decisions that people make when they’re going to take charge or even scale? 

In business, you want to make sure that you’re surrounded by the right people. When you’re hiring people, your goal is to try and hire people that are almost better than you. People sometimes have a little bit too much of an ego and they tend to hire below them. I always try and encourage to hire better than you so that they can help with running over the business. That’s one of the key things is around the people. Once you have those people on the bus doing the right things, how are you measuring those people? Do you have any key performance indicators? What are some of their goals? It’s making sure that they’re doing the right things when they’re in that position. 

That’s got to be an underlying rub to hire people better than youThat might be hard for some personalities. 

It is. If you’re relying on so much of you in the business, then your business is not necessarily going to scale up. Find the right people that can help support you that can take your business to the next level. 

You’re an athlete? 

I am. I used to play a lot of football or soccer over hereI moved into playing rugby, soft sports. I do a lot of Ironman Triathlons. That’s what keeps me busy. 

How does that carry over into business? What do you learn from competition in the sports arena to the business side? 

One of the reasons why I wrote my book was with doing an Ironman race this is something that’s 6 to 9, 12 months out. You have to build a roadmap around what we’re going to be some of your goals along the way? How much do I need to train every week? How much running, biking, swimming do I need to do every weekYou build that roadmap along the way. That includes maybe some smaller races along that journey. The same applies in business. A lot of people don’t necessarily have that strategic plan in place. What’s going to look like in 1, 3, 5 years timeI encourage people to build that roadmap or strategic plan in business but also personally. What are those things, signposts along the way, that are going to check to measure where you are in that map? 

REIS 471 Robert Clinkenbeard | Ironman Mindset

Ironman Mindset for Entrepreneurs

I came from sports. I didn’t make any big milestones in any sportI believe that American football as a junior high in high school shaped a lot of who I am. There are things that I got from it that I’m sure I may not have gotten any other way. A lot of it has to do with being hit really hard and getting back up even when you don’t want to or it’s difficult to, physically or emotionally. Either way, you’ve got to get back up. You can’t stay down there. Those principles seem to go right along with business. Business owners seem to get the business wind knocked out of them a lot. As a matter of fact, it seems like it’s a requirement. I don’t know anybody in business that doesn’t get the wind knocked out of them over and over again. Do you know anybody that has had an easy time? 

NoBusiness owners could be a daily occurrence, whether it‘d be cashflow issues, some type of legal issue, especially in 2020. It’s been challenging for people going through COVID. You’re 100% right. That’s why I’ve embraced this term Ironman Mindset. You’re constantly having to be hit, go down and then come back stronger. 

The Mastermind Group that we met at Multipliers, they may send something that I don’t like it, but I know it’s true. We’re either going into a crisis or in the crisis or coming out of a crisis? That’s the only three cycles there are. You would be doing well to understand that, know your resources and where to go during those times. A lot of times the right coach is the place to be for that. When you see your clients come to you and ask for business coaching as a business owner, what state are they typically in when they come to you? 

They’re hurting. They’re in a bad way. They’re going through some type of pain, which is unfortunate. All of the time, if they’d reached out to somebody around them in an earlier stage, they wouldn’t quite be in so much pain. I talk about that in my book. Whether you’re in business or in some type of endurance sports or any type of sport surrounding yourself with the right people. Whether it be a coach, whether it be other athletes, whether it be other mentors, it’s good to have those people around you to pull you through those types of challenges. When I was doing my Ironman races, I had swim coachI could swim one length in the cold pressure. Here I am, I’m now swimming 2.5 miles freestyle. 

had a bike coach. I had nutrition coach, a run coach. I surrounded myself with the right people. I knew that I didn’t know all. When I first started my business, I had a company with 400 employees. In early stages, I realized I’m bad at the financial partI didn’t understand my financials. Quickly, I brought in a fractional CFO to be able to simplify all the numbers so that I could see where my company was going. The application of using coaches and mentors around you is key for your success. 

I’ve been telling people a long time because I did it the wrong way. When you have a one-man business, a one man show business or a business that depends heavily upon you, the owner, you need to start trying to figure how to replace yourself or how to work on the business instead of in the business. Don’t wait until you’re sick and tired of it or you’re burned out and you want to get out because you don’t have enough energy to do it then. It takes energy to do this. I was reading your bio. It dawned on me that you could help people start to transition their way out. If they’re not ready to go out, they don’t have to go out, but at least know how to set up your business so that you can get out of the way or be prepared to do that. Do you see a lot of people come to you trying to replace themselves as the owner and it’s almost too late because they’re burned out? 

If your business relies so much on you, then your business will not scale up. Click To Tweet

I see it all the time. I started with a client out of PhoenixI walked into his office. His office was piles of paper everywhere. There were stacks of paper on the floor. I said, “I’m going to help you here. I took a picture of his office and how a mess it was. It will probably take us a year, but he’s already beginning to see the lights at the end of the tunnel where he‘s now beginning to delegate to other people. That’s something I’m still working on. Another client I worked on, he has $30 million business. He’s now hired a second in command. He’s working twenty hours a week, now spending more time with family. He’s now working in other investments. We’ve already spent the last several months in transitioning most of the business. He’s in a much better place. 

A lot of people have that idea of where they want to go, but they get so buried in that day-to-day minutia that it is tough for them to get out of it. One of the mistakes I find is that they have to hire somebody fulltime to replace themJust start with those baby steps. There are so much fractional parts of people or even virtual people out there that can help make that transition. It could start them on that journey. 

It is difficult. The first thing people think of when you say we’re going to hire people, they think an overheadThere are a lot of different ways to look at it, especially now that there’s so much off shore people that can work. The exchange rates are much different too. Do you use a lot of VAs? 

I’ve got a full-time VA myself. She’s based out of Thailand. She works the opposite hours that I work. When I finish work at 5:00 PM East Coast Time, she starts working them. Effectively, I got a 24hour presence to be able to help my clients. She’s unbelievable. She makes me survive in business. There are many options out there that people don’t quite realize what options are available. 

I have three VAs in one business and another VA in another businessI have four VAs. They’re not directly under me, but we use VAs a lot. You managed to train for Ironman contest twenty hours a week. You still run a $20 million business. What does that look likeHow does someone do that? That sounds like an awful lot. 

It was hard work. I’ve seen few things that help me alonga patient wife who supported me with my journey. The second most important thing was making sure I had the right people in place. I hired carefully. I had some branch managersI had a general manager helping me run my businessIt took me years to get to that pointI coached them. Put all the right people and measures in place. The third thing that helped me was being super disciplined about my time. I blocked off time for my meetings. I was intentional about my day so I knew what I wanted to achieve every single day. I prepared well. The night before, I would look at what training do I need to do. I used to train two times a day. Usually, I was at the house by 4:30 in the morning doing bike or run. Later in the day, I was doing a swimI carefully plan my day out to make sure I maximized my dayI was still home by 5:30 at night to be with my wife and kids. Discipline, get that roadmap, get that training plan in place, that’s what made me successful. 

Do you find it hard? I’m curious. The $20 million a year business, is it the coaching business or is it some other business? 

REIS 471 Robert Clinkenbeard | Ironman Mindset

Ironman Mindset: You want to make sure that you’re surrounded by the right people. Your goal is to try and hire people that are almost better than you.


I sold my business a few years agoI figured out my purpose in life was to make a positive impact on others. Rather than going out and starting another big organization, I felt I need to go and coach peopleI need to teach people how to make less mistakes than I did because I made a bunch as well. If I can go into companies and help them scale up, make less mistakes and help them become higher performing individuals and realize their full potential, that gives me great purpose.  

At some point, it’s not about money anymore. There has to be a higher reason, you’re at that pointAnother $1 million is not going to change your life? 

Easily I could retire. I get bored. I love seeing people be successful. What I enjoy most is seeing people being successful, but then having enough time to be less stressed and spending time on stuff they’re passionate about, whether it woulbe family or sporting pursuits. 

Are there any advantages or disadvantages? You’re not from Texas. What’s that accent? Is that Scotland? 

My background is I grew up in Scotland. They’re hard working, solid, great people but not entrepreneurial. I packed up my bags, arrived to the States with two suitcases back in 99. I worked for a couple of years for a couple of small companies. I thought I want to join the entrepreneurial journey. I started up my company in 2001. It was myself. I had a business partner. We started from scratch out of a small lockup in Phoenix. We’d get up at 3:30, 4:00 in the morning, cut the grass and do all the maintenance. We grew that business to four branches in Phoenix and one up in Nevada. It was a big journey. 

What was that business? 

It’s commercial landscaping. We did all the classy buildings, the retail office buildings, industrial on the market in Phoenix and Nevada. 

I know some real successful people in that business too here in where I live. It’s a big business. You got lot of moving parts and a lot of competition too. It may have a low barrier to entry on some levels. There can always be a lot of competition in that business. The guys that rise to the top and get that many employees and sell, hats off to you, that’s quite an accomplishment. It’s a good business but tough business. Do you know any easy businesses? That’s what we want to know. 

I’m not sure about that. The reoccurring revenue model is always nice. When it comes to selling your business and there’s multiples jump up when you have that reoccurring revenue, that’s always nice. I ended up having a 350, 400 employees. There’s a lot moving parts probably 200 trucks. There’s a lot of moving parts to deal with. If I ever was to start another business, I’d be looking at less employees, maybe more technology-based, a lot less capital purchases, assetsChris and I had three businesses, but also each truck was $120,000, $150,000. It’s a lot of capital put in there. 

I want you to go get a free PDF of the book. It’s at 1000Houses.com/IronManIt’s all about the Ironman Mindset for EntrepreneursCheck it out. It’s a completely free downloadable PDF. You’ll find it worthwhile. Give us some ideas or some excerpts from the book. What can they expect when they read that book? 

You’re surrounding yourself by the right people, whether it‘d be coaches, mentors or other people that are positive in your life. Build a roadmap, figure out where you’re going in 1, 3, 10 years out to start giving you that runway. Who are the people that are going to help you along that journey? Go through those challenges. If you’re going to get knocked down by some issue, then pick yourself right back up. I used to drive into my yard and see all these trucks. Some of them are beat ups. I see stuff spilled everywhere. I had the option of either getting frustrated and annoyed or I had that mindset of it’s frustrating, but nobody had a bad accident. Nobody died on any of my jobs. They’re all going home to their families. That’s what kept me level headed. Everybody igoing to face challenges partially in business and family, but just pick yourself back up. 

I bet you one of the hardest questions you ever asked is what do you want to do? Where do you want to be? Where are we going? It’s a hard question for people to answer. 

It took me a good 6, 9 months. I had a life coach to help me get there. Unless you start to get somebody to ask you those challenging questions and block out time in your schedule to do with you that deep thinking, then you’re never going to get there. 

I appreciate everybody taking the time to stop in and get you some Robert Clinkenbeard. I want you to sit and check out his book, the Ironman Mindset for Entrepreneurs. Go to 1000Houses.com/IronMan. Anything you want to say to the young entrepreneurs out there before we wrap it up? 

REIS 471 Robert Clinkenbeard | Ironman Mindset

Ironman Mindset: You’re constantly having to be hit, go down and then come back stronger.


You can do whatever you want to do. I arrived in the States with two suitcases. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Here I am not boasting, but done Ironman races, have built and sold the business. It’s given me that confidence. If you can do the same thing, make sure you know where you’re going and then who are the people around you that are going to help you to get to that point. 

There you have it from Robert Clinkenbeard. I’d like to thank everybody for stopping by to get you some Robert Clinkenbeard. We appreciate you. Also I have a new YouTube Channel, 1000Houses.com/YouTube. Check it out if you’d like. I’d also like to thank Tax Free Future for sponsoring this episode. TaxFreeFuture.com is where you can go to roll over your retirement funds into a self-directed account with checkbook control. That means that you get to say what you’re doing with your money and how it’s invested. You’ll start to learn the best practices over there. There are 37 little video vignettes that will let you know some of the things that other people are doing to grow these accounts from little bits of money to vast amounts of money in a relatively short periods of time for those who made it their business. Check them out. 


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About Robert Clinkenbeard

REIS 471 Robert Clinkenbeard | Ironman Mindset

4 x Ironman / Growth Advisor – Scaling Up / Traction / Author / Speaker Robert Clinkenbeard is the CEO of The Radix Group, LLC which has offices in Greenville, Phoenix, and the UK. He is an entrepreneur, an author, and a four-time Ironman. Having sold his $20M company, he now has several franchises, multiple real estate investments, and the largest Peer Group facilitation company in the US, all while raising a large family.

He is also a senior leader in EO and therefore understands the challenges of CEO within growing companies. Robert will help your audience with getting a higher business valuation, reinvigorated passion for their business, extra time with family and friends, growth of key employees, and a company culture that adopts the vision as if it were their own.


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