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  • Category Archives Rory Vaden
  • Don’t just work hard. Do the hard work.

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    hardwork-1-560x294Working hard is not the key to success; it’s merely the price of admission. 

    Hard work alone isn’t enough to bring you everything you want. 

    Because if you’re working hard at the wrong things then they won’t take you to where you want to go. 

    You have to work hard at the right things if you want to achieve your desired destination. 

    Which introduces a second element to the equation. 

    Because not only do you have to work hard, you also have to work hard at the right things. 

    So what are the right things?

     Actually, it’s usually pretty simple to identify them. 

    Typically the right things, the best things, the most significant things you can do to achieve your goal are often the things you know need to be done but you most don’t want to do. 

    They are the things that nobody likes to do. 

    If you’re trying to build muscle, it means doing pull ups or leg day. 

    If you’re trying to lose weight, it means cutting your alcohol, carbs, or sugar intake. 

    If you’re in sales, it is prospecting. 

    If you’re trying to get out of debt, it’s making and following a budget.  

    In other words, it’s not enough to just work hard.  

    You have to do the hard work. 

    You have to do the things you don’t want to do. 

    You have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do. 

    You have to do the things that you know are good for you, but they are hard. 

    You don’t do them because the goal is to make life as hard as possible. 

    Quite the contrary, you do them because they ultimately make life easier.

    But that path is predicated on the unpopular truth that the shortest most guaranteed path to a more productive life is to do the hardest parts of things as soon as possible!

    You don’t just work hard. You do the hard work. 

    And if you that… 

    If you work hard…

    And you also do the hard work…

    Then you will start to find that eventually, things get easier and easier. 


  • The Self Esteem Trap

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    trap

    Results are important, but you are not your results.

    And there is a great risk in attaching your self-esteem to your results.

    The risk is that if you allow your self-esteem to be determined by the results you are experiencing, then it will always be volatile as it fluctuates with the inevitable ups and downs of life.

    It becomes a self-esteem trap because when results are coming in, you feel great about yourself. But when they are not, you feel terrible.

    Ultras performers don’t want that. They are much more interested in consistency. And they have the perspective of knowing there are good days and challenging days.

    Instead of allowing their confidence to ebb and flow, they have developed a different strategy than most people.

    They put their self-esteem into their work habits rather than their production.

    They derive their confidence from focusing on things they can control rather than the things they can’t.

    Results in most walks of life are things that we can influence, but they often aren’t things that are fully in our control.

    It’s not solely in our control as to who wins and who loses, who buys and who doesn’t, how certain things are valued, or the exact financial balance that is left at the end.

    You don’t want to have extreme highs and lows. You want steady, consistent, positive direction.

    In addition to volatility, the other weakness of having self-esteem tied to results is it causes us to under perform.

    Because when results are poor we often feel undeservedly bad. And it affects the confidence by which we work and thereby lowers the effectiveness of our work and the likelihood we will produce positive results.

    Similarly, when results are pouring in and we are “winning” we also need to be careful about feeling uncharacteristically proud of ourselves. Positive results can be a source of complacency for someone who has their self-esteem tied to their performance. Not to mention that sometimes results come in by way of luck, circumstance, or positive changes in the market rather than by way of our own efforts.

    The best baseline then is to put your self-esteem into your work habits rather than your results.

    You want to be a person who lays it all out on the line every day.

    You do your dead level best regardless of whether or not the results are coming in.

    You are consistently and dogmatically focused on doing what you know how to do and controlling what you can control.

    You know that the challenging days are just a part of the journey to great performance and that the great days are fleeting and that they both come and go.

    But you have faith, and trust, and confidence that if you do your best, and you focus on simply putting in the work over and over each day, then over time you will win.

     

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.  Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • Why Do We Have a Hard Time Giving?

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    charityWho Gives?

    70% of people admit to giving less than 10% of their income. That’s what a recent poll of more than 3500 people conducted by our team at the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline reported. With America being one of the richest countries in the world, it leaves you wondering, “Why do we have such a hard time giving?”

    Our study didn’t attempt to understand that part of the human psyche and so I can’t speak for anyone else. I can certainly say for myself, though, that during the times in my life when I struggled with giving it has been out of a sense of lack.

    There were times that I didn’t feel I could give because I was scared that I wouldn’t then have enough for me and my family – it was a lack of Faith. There were other times that I didn’t give just because I didn’t feel a strong connection to the opportunity in front of me – it was a lack of empathy. Lots of times I didn’t give just because I had a hard time making time for figuring out what I should give to – it was a lack of priority.

    For me, my struggle with giving changed from an unexpected encounter…

    I once had the honor of watching the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones be awarded a lifetime achievement award for how much money he had donated. During his acceptance speech, he told a story of a young boy who was watching his mother pay bills. The little boy asked, “Mom, what are you doing?” She replied, “Well honey, I am paying bills- which means I am writing checks to pay money for the work that other people have done for me.”

    Suddenly the little boy had an idea! That day he worked extra hard around the house and slipped a note under his mom’s bedroom door at night. When she woke up the next morning she saw this piece of paper, which said “BILL” at the top. Underneath it said “Taking out the trash – $5. Doing the Dishes – $10. Cleaning up my room – $20. Total Amount Due – $35.” That day the mom paid the young boy $35 in cash.

    However, the next morning the little boy woke up and saw a piece of paper under his door. At the top it was marked “BILL.” Underneath it said, “Cooking for you every day that you’ve been alive – $5000. All the clothes you’ve ever worn – $10,000. Changing all of your diapers and cleaning up after your entire childhood – $20,000.”

    The only difference was at the very bottom it said “Total Amount Due – $0. Paid in full by the love that you give me each and every day.”

    After the story, Charlie said something I’ll never forget that changed my life and my outlook on giving forever. He addressed this room of 3000 people and said “You see friends, if there is one thing I’ve learned in this life it’s that I never really give anything…every once in a while I simply get a chance to pay back a little bit of all that I owe.”

    People who give abundantly, don’t give out of extraordinary excess. They don’t give out of an expectation of receiving something in return. And they don’t give out of obligation. The most generous givers simply give out of thankfulness for all that’s been given to them.

    This Christmas season, give joyously and out of thankfulness for all that has been given to you. Merry Christmas.

     

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.  Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • 5 Practices that will Make You a More Grateful and Happy Person

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    Living-a-happier-lifeWe think of gratefulness as a soft skill, but I am very convinced that it is as tangible, practical, and pragmatic as learning to balance a checkbook or lift a set of weights.

    In fact…

    What working out is to looking good…

    and

    What balancing your checkbook is to being rich…

    is exactly

    What being grateful is to feeling happy.

    Learning to do the disciplined work of counting your blessings is the necessary and required skill for you to feel happy.And when you are counting blessings you will be happy because you are thinking about all that has been given to you instead of all that you don’t have.

    Here are 5 daily practices that will help you strengthen your “gratitude muscle” which will lead to a happy heart:

    1.     Choose to say thank you first thing in the morning – If you aren’t consciously thinking about the good things in your life, then you will often unconsciously start thinking about the challenging things. And the battle for your mind starts the first second that alarm clock goes off. I challenge you to make the VERY FIRST THOUGHT in your mind the moment you hear the alarm start with “Thank you for_____.” And then keep repeating it as many times as you can filling in the blank with different things.

    2.     Have high expectations of giving and no expectations of receiving. – Unmet expectations are a great source of our dissatisfaction. So having high expectations of what you deserve, what you feel is owed to you, and what you’ve earned sets you up for disappointment and makes it hard to be grateful. On the contrary, when you don’t feel like you deserve anything, then everything that comes to you is a wonderful blessing. And there is something magical about how appreciating your blessings brings more abundance into your life. By the way “giving without expectation of receipt” is the definition of the word Grace.

    3.     Respond to negative situations by counting blessings – Every time you are tired, upset, discouraged, frustrated, angry, or sad immediately catch yourself and start listing off all of the things you are thankful for – just like how you started your day. This is very hard; but if you can develop the discipline to do this one thing, it will drastically change your life.

    4.     Notice and engage with people who have less than you. – The more you pay attention to, and spend time with people who have less than you, the more your eyes are opened to all of the amazing blessings you have in your life that you take for granted. This can be volunteering, donating, or just mentoring people. It also reminds you how far you’ve come and how lucky you are.

    5.     Say thank you and give credit to those around you. – When you take credit for things, when you say “I did”, and when you believe it was all you, you start to feel owed. When you give away credit you are constantly intentional about the work and help of everyone around you. You start to realize that even if you did 100% of the work, there was a whole army of people in your life who made choices that helped create the circumstance you are in that enables you to do anything and everything you do. If there’s one thing on this list I’ve done wrong, it’s this one. Trust me, it’s not a good way to live – and it’s the fastest way to push those people who are so important to your success far, far away.

    Do these 5 pragmatic things. Practice them often. They won’t be easy, but they are simple. Like everything else, it’s just a decision to “Take the Stairs.”

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.  Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • Fuel Your Fire

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    It’s easy to look at other people’s success and be jealous.

    Sometimes it’s not even envy that shows up, but more of just frustration with your own situation or your own progress. Because you see where they are and you know that you’re capable of the same thing.

    But that gap of dissatisfaction doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It can be incredibly compelling and highly motivating for you on your journey.

    You just have to remember two things:

    First, other people haven’t taken the same route as you have to get where they are. They may have been more focused, had different mentorship, more specific training, or just plain started earlier than you did. And you can’t compare your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 9. Instead, you can gain perspective by evaluating the “trajectory” that you’re on.

    Don’t compare where you are today to someone else’s yesterday. Think about where the course you’re currently on is going to lead you. Very often you will find that if you are making good choices now, that you are inevitably headed toward the same eventual destination.

    Secondly, and more importantly, you have to quickly realize that there is no benefit in wallowing in what you do not have.

    It brings no value to your life to think about what you have not yet accomplished.

    And it does nothing to speed up your progress by looking at what others have achieved that you haven’t yet.

    Unless…

    It drives you and inspires you to do the only thing you can do: work.

    As soon as you realize there’s more you want to accomplish, then you should immediately activate.

    You go to work.

    You decide that you’re not ok with that gap.

    You decide that it’s not acceptable for you not to achieve those same things with your life.

    And you decide that you will find a way to do whatever it takes to accomplish those achievements that you want.

    It’s not about what other people have that you don’t.

    It’s about seeing other people’s accomplishments that you believe are meant to be possible for your own life too.

    And when you see them, you feel that gap. You feel that dissatisfaction. You feel that space that you were meant to fill.

    You don’t get jealous. You don’t get envious.

    You simply get to work.

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.

    Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine.


  • The Habits Triangle and the 3 Elements of Ultra-Performers

    Guest Post by: Rory Vaden

    Southwestern-Consulting-Habits-Triangle-Methodology

    Do you know anyone who is super smart and intelligent but not very successful?

    Do you know someone who doesn’t seem all that smart and yet they are incredibly successful?

    Do you know someone who is very motivated and they try really hard but they can never quite seem to make it?

    Do you know someone who has all the ingredients to be a top performer but they are a disorganized, chaotic mess?

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you will understand why and how over the past 165 years, The Southwestern Family of Companies and Southwestern Consulting, has developed our methodology – something we refer to as “The Habits Triangle.”

    We’ve come to realize that there are three interrelated components that must work synergistically together for someone to become an Ultra-Performer.

    You cannot truly become an Ultra-Performer without developing mastery in these 3 areas of your business:

    1. Skills – The technical ability and knowledge to complete professional functions or tasks.

    For a salesperson these are the skills of prospecting, closing, answering objections, and gathering referrals just to name a few. For a professional speaker these are the skills of using vocal variety, storytelling, using the stage, and understanding the psychology of laughter. For a leader this includes things like creating vision, delivering appropriate recognition, recruiting, inspiring, training, and understanding and managing financials. For a marketer this includes things like branding, copyrighting, SEO, and knowing how to use social media.

    No matter what your profession is or what goal you are pursuing, there will be a set of knowledge that you will have to learn and a set of tactical Skills that you will need to master in order to perform at the highest level. Even if someone has the other 2 elements of The Habits Triangle, without the technical Skills they will be what Zig Ziglar used to call “a motivated idiot.”

    1. Self-Motivation – This area includes the more intrinsic elements of an individual’s personal character and emotional preparation. 

    Coaching someone on building their self-motivation includes educating them and strengthening them in things like: attitude, positive self- talk, persistence, managing fear, integrity, creating a personal vision, and in finding their emotional purpose.

    Even if a person has incredible Skills and strong Systems, if they don’t have any Self-motivation then they are simply what Calvin Coolidge called an “educated derelict.”

    1. Systems – These are the mechanisms that are in place that help a team or individual stay organized and efficient in completing the strategic operations of the organization.

    For an individual this includes anything related to how they manage their time, how they manage their finances, how they keep up with paperwork, and how they stay organized.

    For an organization this almost always includes any element of technology such as: accounting and payroll systems, CRM, their online social media and content marketing strategy, order fulfillment, procurement, etc.

    A person or team who has strong Self-motivation and expert Skills but weak Systems becomes a frantic, disorganized, chaotic mess. They are what I once heard David Allen refer to as a “crazy-maker.”

    Show me a broken business or an underperforming individual and I guarantee I will show you a breakdown in at least one of the three areas of The Habits Triangle: Skills, Self-Motivation, or Systems.

    At the center of The Habit Triangle is of course “Habits”. That is because it is not good enough to merely have strong Skills, Self-motivation, and Systems; but we must have the positive habits that enforce using them over and over.

    At the center of the triangle is where it all comes together. It is developing the self-discipline to do the things we know we should be doing each and every day until they eventually become Habits. Or as we at Southwestern say, “success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.“ We’ve found that most people have a much higher likelihood of developing positive Habits if they have accountability (notice the ring around the outside of the triangle) which is why our core service offering at Southwestern Consulting is 1 on 1 coaching.

    If you’ve ever wondered why I am often referred to as a “Self-discipline Strategist” now you know. It’s because I’ve dedicated my life to helping provide insights and inspiration to help people do the things they know they should be doing even when they don’t feel like doing them – so that those tasks would eventually become habits and success becomes inevitable for them over time.

    If you’ve followed my podcast or my blog here and ever felt like some of the topics were disjointed; now you will be able to see easily how they all fit together.

    Our first book, Take the Stairs, was all about self-discipline and Self-motivation.

    Our recent book, Procrastinate on Purpose, was all about Systems.

    Any guesses as to what our next book will probably be about?

     

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data. 

    Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • Do limits prevent you from being an Ultra performer?

    You are the person who sets limits on yourself.

    You decide what is possible and what isn’t possible for your life.

    And most of the time we allow our boundaries for the future to be defined by the accomplishments of our past.

    We project our “best ever” into the future as the limiter of what is possible.

    Ultra performers don’t do that.

    Ultra performers do not allow their creativity to be used in a way that sets limits. And they don’t base what is realistic or what is possible on what others have done.

    They instead unleash their creativity in the positive direction by simply presenting the challenge, the goal, or the problem that needs solving to their mind and then allowing their mind to break it apart to find new answers, new solutions, and new paths.

    Ultra performers know that their mind is happy to achieve whatever their mind is set to.

    >> Continue reading on Rory Vaden’s blog <<


  • Rory Vaden TedX Talk: How to Multiply Time

    Everything you know about time-management is wrong. In this challenging and counter-intuitive video, Self-Discipline Strategist and New York Times bestselling author Rory Vaden, shows you why you can’t solve today’s time-management challenges with yesterday’s time-management strategies. More importantly he explains why procrastinating on purpose is the key to being able to Multiply your time.

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal and #2 New York Times bestseller. Rory is also Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting™, an 8-figure global consulting practice. His new book Procrastinate On Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time came out in January of 2015 and was an instant National Bestseller. Free 1 hour webinar on multiplying time at http://www.ProcrastinateOnPurpose.com .

    Rory Vaden TedX Talk: How to Multiple Time


  • Servant Selling: How to answer objections without feeling pushy

    Guest post by: Rory Vaden

    Most people have fear about making change.

    Which is another reason why prospects need a sales professional.

    They need us not only for the purpose of giving them expert information about the product or service they are considering…

    They need our assistance in helping them develop the courage to make a change!

    You may have not have ever thought of your role in that way, but that is how Servant Sellers think. They realize that sales is less about convincing a stranger and more about helping a friend develop confidence.

    There are several decisions that need to be made by a prospect before they can buy.

    Of course they need to decide they like the offer but that’s not it. They also need to decide that they’re actually willing to take the risk of making a change. As the sales professional you have to be equipped to serve both of those needs for them.

    [CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING]


  • The simple truth of the world’s wealthiest people

    Guest post by: Rory Vaden

    I continue to be under-impressed and underwhelmed at the brilliance of rich people.

    Growing up without money I just always convinced myself that they must know something I don’t. They must have something I don’t. They must be something I’m not.

    Not really.

    Wealthy people are simple.

    In fact it’s their simplicity that makes them wealthy.

    Most of us overthink, overreact and overcomplicate.

    What do wealthy people do?

    They just do.

    They don’t worry about what they can’t do; they focus on what they can do.

    They don’t worry about if it will work; they try it and find out.

    Wealthy people don’t waste time trying to find the perfect time, the perfect plan, or the perfect circumstance.

    They just act.

    They do.

    –> Click here to continue reading.