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  • 3 Steps to the Art of Growth

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    Screenshot 2017-01-31 09.33.16

    Let me fill you in on something that has been life changing. Most of you know my background with selling door-to-door with Southwestern, now hitting the phones with Southwestern Consulting. Well, at one point things got stagnate. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I felt like nothing was moving forward. Have you ever been there? Are you at that point where some things are just falling apart?

    I have the solution for you. IDP.

    Identify.

    Duplicate.

    Perfect.

    You are in control of how great you become, and how great you get at prospecting… or anything.  This is a process, a simple system, that allows you to keep getting better and growing every single day.

    First step: Identify

    Each one on you has done great things and accomplished a lot in your life. Personal or professional, you have had some success. Let’s remember that time. Take yourself back there, and where you were mentally. Think back to when you had your best day ever. What did you do that day? How did you sound? What did you wear? What were you saying to yourself that day? Take yourself back to that place and think through those things when you were at the top of your game and make a list. Remember how people treated you and what they said to you. Write down how you were feeling, and just what was going on. This will be your first step.

    Second step: Duplicate

    Pretty simple. Every Sunday I have IDP time to recap the week and think about every great thing I did the week prior, so on Monday, I can duplicate those actions. I can repeat what it was about the week before that made a positive impact, and carry it on to the next week. Maybe you just start smiling at everyone. That is something you can repeat while helping yourself and others. Consciously be aware of the things that make you feel accomplished so you can continue doing those things. You will naturally start duplicating these things, which will lead you to the last step.

    Final step: Perfect

    Perfect what you know works. Perfect those processes and systems. You become amazing at calling people and prospecting. You grow and get better while you’re out serving others and changing people’s live through what you do. This is the perfection process.

    It starts with identifying, then you duplicate, then you perfect the great you that you are. Where I am at today, and the things that I have accomplished and keep doing, come from IDP. I continue to take these steps and great things unfold. You can do it too!

    Prospecting mastery is a habit and can be achieved by anyone dedicated to working a system better than anyone else ever has. Go out, get your habits and identify, duplicate, and perfect the best you! Go get it today!

    What is something you have done that you are so proud of, and continue to do? What have you perfected because you identified and duplicated it? Let me know! Tweet me @davebrown_swc or message me on LinkedIn. Let’s connect and grow together!  

    Dave Brown is a senior partner and executive level coach at Southwestern Consulting and author of the upcoming book Painless Prospecting. Dave was a record-breaking salesman for Southwestern Advantage, knocking on over 50,000 doors before the age of 25. He has spoken and trained over 100,000 sales professionals across the globe with Southwestern Consulting.


  • 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. 


  • Facing Fear

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Fear is the root of many challenges we face in life. If we really dig down, at the core of things, like worry, doubt, anxiety, depression, etc. you will find fear. Even things like rage, selfishness or apathy can be traced back to fear.

    Fear…Recently a few close friends and I went downhill mountain biking at a local ski resort, in the summer time you can take the ski lift up with a downhill mountain bike and hit some intense descents. It was really scary and admittedly most trails there were several levels higher than my current skill set. For those of you not familiar with mountain biking, the difference between cross-country or trail riding and downhill riding is exponential! We are talking huge jumps and turning corners that you can get horizontal in!

    I had gotten advice that often in an ugly situation where you are about to crash or… say hit a tree, you actually need to let off the brakes so that you can gain control, get traction, steer around the obstacle and ride out the situation. Counter-intuitive to say the least. I experienced this first hand noticing that the more afraid I felt, the more I seemed to use my brakes. The more I used my brakes the less traction I had, especially when over breaking and the more out of control I felt! I had to really face my fear and constantly focus on using my body and going with the flow of the trail vs my default fear based reaction to slam on the brakes. It ended up being an epic adventure, a good time and a victory!

    Sales, business, and life work the exact same way. Look at our fear based reactions like call reluctance, procrastination or self-sabotaging our own success. They again can all be traced back to a core element of fear.

    Here are a few steps to help you face your fears!

    1. Know the Enemy!  What are you afraid of? Name it and write it down. Acknowledge it and you may start to see how insignificant or unlikely it is. Understanding fear helps us to better react to it in the right way. Many of us have heard the old acronym that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Though I agree entirely I would also like to submit that many times there is something very real we fear. Going back to my downhill mountain biking trip, I forgot to mention, that day we saw two broken collarbones and one guy got carried off in an ambulance. Believe me, the danger and risk was very real. HOWEVER, fear is a multiplier! It takes that risk and it exponentially multiplies that which we are afraid of! It snowballs in our creative imagination and becomes a monstrosity. So awareness is key!

    2. Do Battle with the EnemyFear is a cunning foe, you can not fight it by attacking it directly because whatever we resist persists. You can’t fight the fear of falling on a mountain bike by saying, don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall. Guess what your mind focuses on?!?  That’s right! Falling! And what usually ends up happening? You guessed it. Often times, fear causes us to do the things that will bring about exactly that which we do not want to have happen, like over breaking on a mountain bike. This applies to cornering on a motorcycle as well, FYI. So what do you do? Like a martial artist master, you must see the attack (in this case the fear), maneuver to allow the attack to pass right by you and make your move!  So what’s your move?

    a.     Focus on what you are doing and not on what it is you are afraid of.

    b.     Use Self-Talk or have a Mantra-  I got this! This is a walk in the park! This is fun! I’m crushing this!

    c.     Have a plan to focus on the right things!- do it step by step, break it down and slowly build momentum and confidence!

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    Happy Halloween! Go out and Face your Fears!

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!

    rusty_team_rick_takahashi

    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!

     

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Is Your Auto-Pilot Programmed for Success? 

    Guest Post By: Jay Jones

    Have you ever wondered why we as human beings think and act the way that we do? Often times we unconsciously do things that we know are not in our best interest. We often say to ourselves, “If only I were more disciplined to do the things that I need to do…”  Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they are in subconscious auto-pilot mode most of the time.

    If you were about to fly a plane to New York and learned that the auto-pilot was programmed for the wrong destination, what would you do?  If you wanted to get to New York, you would only have 2 options.

    1. Manually fly the plane to New York the entire journey, or

    2. Reprogram the auto-pilot

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    Using this analogy and applying it to our lives we are better able to understand how we are to get to our goals and dreams in life.  We can either stay in a state of conscious awareness all of the time and always make conscious choices and decisions about everything that we do (extremely difficult to do) or we can take on the task of reprogramming our internal auto-pilot on a daily basis.  There are major benefits to becoming unconsciously competent in the areas important to our success in life.  Success is much easier when we are doing the right things without having to think about them all of the time.

    Understanding how your subconscious works:

    Everything that you have ever experienced through your 5 senses has been recorded into your subconscious mind.  Those experiences and your emotional responses to them throughout your life dictate your internal auto-pilot. They determine your fight or flight responses to everything you experience in the present.  Often we have programming that we do not even recognize that controls our motivations and desires.  To many people, the thought of having to overcome all of the negative thoughts and programming from the past seems very daunting.  Fortunately, the power of positive affirmations spoken aloud daily has more power over the subconscious in the present than most past memories.

    Writing new programming:

    It is exciting to know that no matter what you have been programmed to believe and therefore feel, you have the power to re-write that programming.  You have the power to change your future destination in life! The first step in this process is to decide what it is that you want to believe about yourself and your relationship to the world around you.  If you want to believe that you enjoy eating healthy and exercising, then you are going to have to affirm that every day if you want to eventually believe it.  If you want to be a person of tremendous faith, then you had better affirm that every day as well.  Whatever it is that you want to have, be or do, you must affirm it to yourself aloud daily.  You must also write your affirmations in the present tense.  Here are a few examples of positive affirmations:

    I feel happy, healthy and terrific!

    I have an amazing and abundant life!

    Every day I am growing more successful in everything that I do!

    I am loved and respected by others!

    I manage my time wisely and make time for all of the projects that I have committed myself to!

    I am passionate about serving others and being an example of success to everyone around me!

    I set big goals and I achieve them!

    I have 2 pages of personal affirmations on the wall by my desk that I read every morning during the week. I can speak from personal experience that without making a conscious decision about what I believe about myself, my thoughts would be slave to the world around me.  The time has come for you to take back control of your life and your thoughts from the world.  Decide what you want to believe, decide what you want to achieve and make the commitment for life to do the mental conditioning work to make it happen!

     

    Jay Jones is an expert in lead generation and business development. He has worked extensively in the mortgage, real estate, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare and financial services industries. Jay is a dynamic speaker and regularly speaks for company and industry events.


  • Choice

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    The choice is ours.

    So many times people go throughout life and they make the easy choice.  It can be as small as should I do the dishes, mow the lawn, rake the yard or just lay here and watch a movie, watch football or just watch TV.  It can also be the life changing choices. Do I buy the house?  Do I treat my spouse they way they should be treated?   Do I work as hard as I possibly can each and every day?

    choosewisely

    Every one of us has similar choices.  We make them from the time we wake up until we lay our heads down. We tell ourselves we want to do more, want to accomplish more and we want more out of life. Yet our actions aren’t speaking the way our words are. We are hitting snooze not only on our alarm, but on life.

    Truly successful people, and that’s YOUR definition of success, make the choice to go out and get it. They make the CHOICE to do things that others aren’t going to do. Get off the couch and get active. We all can make excuses, but that’s what they are, excuses. That’s where your choice comes in. Do we take the easy way out, or do we get after it?

    Do you make the right choice daily?

    What is the right choice for you?

    Do you ever find yourself wishing you would have done more? Accomplished more?  Making a choice is the hardest thing we do daily. The reason being, it happens every moment of every day.  I wish someone would have told me years ago that if I just made the choice to work harder, be disciplined and always, and I mean always give it your all that you can accomplish anything.

    What is that anything? – Go after what you want. If you want to be in sales, be in sales, if want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, business for yourself, sell insurance, advisor, real estate, mortgage go out and do it.  Don’t let someone tell you it can’t be done.  That’s because they CHOSE not to do it. When you are passionate about something it’s not a job.  It’s a way of life.

    • You have to start somewhere. It takes hard work. Sometimes that can be studying, it can be getting up at 3:30, going to bed at 12:00 or 1:00 am. It can be doing the things we need to do. What are those things?
    • You can’t do it yourself. You need people around you. You need mentors, trainers, coaches, people that can help you get to where you want to go. No one person knows it all.  No one.  Go out and find those people that will help you and keep you accountable.

    Discipline is the hardest part of the daily choice. When you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t wish it, hope it, talk about it, get up and do it. Write that book, that blog, take that class, start that business, create that idea, take that vacation, spend time with the family, tell your spouse you love them.  No amount of hoping and thinking about it will make it happen.

     

    Brent Widman is has over 10 years experience in all aspects of sales.  He is a professional sales coach at Southwestern Consulting. Brent has expertise in lead generation, prospecting, selling to top execs and the art of follow up. He has worked with numerous individuals to improve their sales processes, day to day interaction and ultimately them as a person. He is a former division director, sales director and district manager for distinguished sales teams in the recruiting, fitness and communications world.


  • 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.


  • Featured ImageHow Rory Vaden Became a Professional Speaker

    How’d you get into that? – My 15 point checklist about leveraging discipline to become a professional speaker…

    When I was 17 and 18 years old I knew I wanted to spend my life reading, researching, writing, and speaking on the topic of self-discipline. And whenever I’d meet people who were authors/speakers I’d always ask, “How’d you get into that?” I imagined they probably got the question a lot and were probably annoyed that I was asking it but I couldn’t help it because I needed to know the answer.

    There are so many days I feel like I’m so far behind where I want to be in this business; but in the past year the tables have definitely turned to where I’m on the other side of the “How’d you get into that?” question. Recently it seems as though I’m getting asked dozens of times per month. While I’m a million miles from the top of the speaking “stairwell” I have made a good bit of progress over the last 10 years so I figured I’d share the short steps of my journey thus far for anyone who cares or is looking to get into this business. . . Read the rest of Rory’s article here.


  • Take the Stairs – 7 Steps to Success LIVE CALL TONIGHT!

    Global Conference Call Tonight with Rory Vaden, Author of Take the Stairs.

    February 15th @ 8:00pm ET

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404

    (enter code 555575#)

    Join us as we’ll discuss:

    • How to make permanent change by embracing The Rent Axiom: Success is never owned, it is only rented; and the rent is due every day. Know confidently that today is the hardest it will ever be and that one-day your appetites will change. One day you will crave the thing that was originally a sacrifice and what was once an indulgence you gave up later won’t even be a temptation.
    • The 7 Strategies to Achieving True Success, including The Paradox Principle of Sacrifice, The Buy-In Principle of Commitment, The Magnifying Principle of Focus, The Creation Principle of Integrity, The Harvest Principle of Schedule, The Perspective Principle of Faith, and the Pendulum Principle of Action.
    • The truth about successful people is that they have simply developed the skill to do the things they know they should be doing even when they don’t feel like doing them. Successful people have the discipline required to get things done regardless of their emotional state. In short successful people Take the Stairs while others waste time looking for the escalator.

     On February 7, Penguin publishing is releasing my new book called “Take the Stairs – 7 Steps to Achieving True Success”. New York Times Bestselling author Andy Andrews calls the book a “challenging and compelling call for all of us to accomplish greatness” as the book talks about the psychology of overcoming procrastination, shares inspiring and pragmatic strategies for improving our self-discipline, and straightforward systems for how to get ourselves to do things we don’t want to do.

     For more information on the Sales Experts, Click Here.

    To submit questions for the upcoming conference call, please send an email to SuccessStartsWeekly@southwesternconsulting.com

     

    ALSO join us on our Facebook Fan page for LIVE Q & A during the call at www.facebook.com/southwesternconsulting  

    When we have 50+ participants on our Facebook Page Chat, we will be giving away prizes (books, CD’s or DVD’s)

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404

    (enter code 555575#)

    Limited to the first 100 callers!


  • The Healthy Type of Procrastination

    I was wrong. In a recent keynote program I shared an insight with an audience that said “classic procrastination is consciously avoiding what you know you should be doing.” That part is accurate but the part that I erred in was explaining it with two other negative and more dangerous types of procrastination (which are unconscious that I refer to as Creative Avoidance and Priority Dilution) and classic procrastination isn’t always negative.

    Yes I, Rory Vaden, just said that. 🙂  And I’ll say it again! Procrastination isn’t always bad! Actually there is a form of classic procrastination which is healthy and even mandatory to live a more fulfilled life.

    Conscious Procrastination is, in some cases, exactly what we would call PLANNING! And planning is healthy. Planning is one of the critical elements of living a disciplined life that produces breakthrough results and allows you to maintain freedom, peace, and perspective.

    We can’t take immediate action on everything that comes into our life the moment it shows up because otherwise we’d perpetually be falling victim to whatever is, as my friend and author David Allen says “latest and loudest.” We instead need to coordinate the most effective times to complete a task (one where we have the right tools, the right amount of time available, and the appropriate amount of energy to do so).

    So conscious procrastination can be good because it sometimes occurs as planning. The key distinction is whether or not the activity is actually PLANNED. Is there a specific time space allotted for it and is there a game-plan in place for accomplishing any other prerequisite activities (such as gathering tools, getting the right people involved, and being emotionally prepared, etc.) prior to the launch of that activity?

    Conscious procrastination with specificity is called planning. Conscious procrastination with vagueness is called being a lazy ass. What a subtle difference!

    I invite you to procrastinate today – just make sure you’re doing it with specificity.

    See you in the stairwell,

    Rory Vaden
    Take the Stairs – Success means doing things you don’t want to do