Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Joel Fortner

By

February 9, 2016

Last Day To Get The Best Price For The Next-Level Leadership Live Event

February 9, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

All good things must come to an end, and tonight at midnight CST Extreme Early Bird pricing ends for our Next-Level Leadership Live Event.

If you’re an entrepreneur or leader in a company, I’m writing specifically to you right now.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to purchase tickets at a RIDICULOUSLY low price, this is your last chance!

Ticket prices will go up in price Feb. 10 so don’t miss out on the lowest prices available and save hundreds of dollars.

Of course, if you’re anything like me…you love a deal, so don’t wait: CLICK HERE and register NOW!

Rewarding You!

This deadline isn’t meant to rush (if this isn’t the right time for you – I totally get it!); it’s meant to reward you for taking fast action!

You’re the exact person we want at this event! Why?

Because you’re decisive and you’re going to plug into this material to get the absolute most out of it! As a teacher and coach, you’re a dream attendee!

If you act quickly, not only will you save hundreds on your seat, but you can secure one of our guest seats for only $247 (a $650 savings) that we reserve specifically so you can bring a team member, peer, or spouse who also wants to take their leadership to the next level or who plans to support you in your growth.

Unlike much of the other “education” out there, this event will provide you with INSANELY practical tips that you can actually USE.

Go here to register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

My “This Event Rocks” Refund Policy

Just to back that up, we’ll give you until the beginning of the second day of the Live Event to decide it’s not for you…just let us know before 9 a.m. on Day 2 and get a full refund. 100%! No reason needed.

So, if you’re ready to dramatically transform your leadership in 3 days…learn detailed, practical strategies full of how-to’s…open your team’s eyes to a culture where champions thrive and are drawn to…learn strategies and processes you’ll refer back to for years to come, then you need to register today.

REGISTER HERE NOW.

If you have any questions, we’re on call to help! Just email us at info@chrislocurto.com or call 703-967-5015.

See you in May!

Chris

P.S. You don’t want to miss Rabin Daniel Lapin speak at this event! He’ll teach on Ancient Jewish Wisdom on increasing revenue.

P.S. If you’re in unknown or uncomfortable territory in your business and with your team because of conflict, tough conversations, people drama, gossip, lack of ownership, and other frustrating situations, you need to be at the Next-Level Leadership Live Event. It’s 3 days of practical, how-to leadership training you will refer back to for years to come for leading well.

Here’s the link if you’re ready to reserve your seat: http://chrislocurto.com/next-level-leadership-event/

Chris LoCurto

By

February 1, 2016

7 Steps To Tackle A Tough Conversation

February 1, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

tackle tough conversation

Tough conversations are one of those “make or break” parts of leading people. They can either empower and ignite team members, or demoralize them and tank their productivity.

The result you get absolutely depends on your ability to have high levels of quality communication with the other person.

Chances are there’s a tough conversation you need to have with a team member, vendor, or, maybe even a customer, right now that you’ve delayed for some reason.

Perhaps you’ve delayed because you’re not sure how the other person will respond, fear of hurting them, concern they’ll deny the problem, fear of upsetting them, or perhaps fear the person may even quit.

Maybe you’re struggling because tough conversations are big-time conflict for you, and it’s just “easier to not do it.”

Here are 7 steps for having tough conversations you can put into practice right now:

STEP 1: Before you call a team member out, you should always ask yourself first, “Am I the problem?”

Start thinking through:

  • Did I do something wrong here?
  • Did I not communicate clearly?
  • Did I share the wrong information?
  • Did I hold something back, or did I give the wrong impression?

STEP 2: Take responsibility and treat people with dignity.

When you take personal responsibility, you show your team member you’re not out to punish them, call them out, or make them a bad person. And you’re not just out to be the bad person yourself, and yell at someone for the sake of asserting power.

Taking personal responsibility causes them to have more respect for you. It causes them to see that you are willing to treat them with dignity. It causes them to see that you care about them.

When you do that, it also causes people to feel more loyal to you, as well as feeling safe, which gives them the freedom to take responsibility when they screw up next time.

STEP 3: Always, always, ALWAYS try hard to avoid jumping to conclusions.

Some people’s natural tendency, when something goes wrong, is to assume what happened, tell everybody what’s wrong, who’s fault it is, and how “I’m not going to stand for this.”

The major problem with this is it shuts people down, puts them on the defensive, and now they won’t talk. So you just muzzled the people who have the perspective needed to find out what happened and fix it.

That is a terrible way to lead, terrible way. As much as you possibly can, avoid jumping to conclusions. Instead do step 4.

STEP 4: Gain perspective on the situation, the person, and yourself first.

The more quality information you have, the greater decisions you can make. When it comes to tough conversations, gaining perspective is hugely important.

Instead of making assumptions, ask questions to find out what happened. Ask questions to the person or people involved, and also ask yourself if you contributed in any way.

STEP 5: Once you have as much perspective as you can get, gain even MORE by asking questions starting with, “Help me understand…”

Once you’ve asked a ton of questions, and you know what’s going on, take it a step further. Ask the question…”help me to understand…”

“Help me to understand why you chose to show up late?” “Help me to understand why you chose to gossip?” “Help me to understand why you’re feeling defensive about this?” “Help me to understand why you see it that way?”

STEP 6: Guide your team member to self-discovery.

Help your team member understand their choices by guiding them to the answers. The goal of tough conversations isn’t to be right, tell someone what they’re doing wrong, or point out their flaws.

A leader’s job is to make their team member successful, not the other way around.

When it comes to tough conversations, success is getting them to see their choice, understand why they made it, and have a plan to not repeat it, without you telling them all of these things.

On the other side of tough conversations is progress and growth…especially if guide a person to discovering answers on their own.

STEP 7: Ask the team member to clarify the situation.

When you ask the team member to clarify the situation, you A) treat them with dignity, and B) show them you are more concerned with discovery, and solving the problem then in them being in trouble.

Again, this helps them feel free to communicate openly, builds loyalty, and increases buy-in.

These 7 steps are a sample of what I’ll teach in-depth to you on tough conversations at the Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4 2016.

If you want to go deeper in this area, and other areas, like making stronger decisions and eliminating task saturation to get more time back, check out all of the details about the event!

Click here to get all of the details for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

After attending this event, you will:

  1. MAKE STRONGER DECISIONS

You’ll learn how to make better decisions, and overcome limiting beliefs and trained behavior you bring to work with you every day so you can become the right leader for your team.

  1. HAVE NEW TOOLS TO SET A PROFOUND & DELIBERATE CULTURE

Learn the secrets I’ve used for years to create a profound and deliberate business culture, where people feel safe and bought into the mission, are able to communicate honestly, serve clients like family, and get a heck of a lot work done, faster.

  1. TACKLE TOUGH CONVERSATIONS FEARLESSLY

Conversations that empower and ignite team members, rather than demoralize them and tank their productivity.

  1. CONTROL YOUR TIME AND TASKS LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Task saturation locks you away in your office too much, stresses you out, and holds you back from spending time with team members and leading well so people work at their best.

  1. OVERCOME FEAR THAT’S STALLING YOUR BUSINESS

Fear leads to bad decisions or not taking action at all, stalling you, your team, your business growth, and customer loyalty and happiness.

  1. UNDERSTAND ANCIENT WISDOM ON INCREASING REVENUE

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “America’s Rabbi,” head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and author of Business Secrets of the Bible, will share wisdom on ancient Jewish beliefs and practices on business and making money. Lapin is known for his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and communicate them in a practical and entertaining way.

This event is for you if you:

– Want to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and want to make better decisions to become the right leader for your team

– Aren’t happy about your company culture and frustrated with why team members aren’t more productive and don’t seem to care as much as they should about their jobs or the success of the business

– Struggle with team member conflict and stress about having hard conversations

– Find yourself spending all of your time on the crisis of the day and constantly putting out fires and can’t seem to ever tackle your to-do list of important work

– Have a hard time setting direction or making decisions you’re confident your team will accomplish as well as you would

– Have more days where you’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and overworked instead of spending time doing what you want, feeling healthy, and happy

So are you ready to breakthrough your own leadership ceiling and reach your and your team’s potential?

If this sounds familiar, then our Next-Level Leadership Live Event is PERFECT for you.

I’m going to unpack more than 25 years of leadership and business experience growing and running multi-million dollar businesses from scratch.

These are the same strategies and processes I’ve taught to THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs and leaders over the years and to my high-end mastermind clients today.

The Next-Level Leadership Live Event won’t be another live event where you’re given a blank notebook and a pen and the host wings it for 3 days.

I’ve broken down the core methods and strategies I’ve used for over two decades to build unified, loyal, and highly productive teams.

I want to share the wisdom God has blessed me with with as many people as possible because this stuff really works!

If you want to take your leadership to the next level, then I invite you to join me at our upcoming Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.

Here’s the link if you’re ready to reserve your space:http://chrislocurto.com/next-level-leadership-event/

Act Fast And Save Money!

If you’re ready to take fast action, you’re the exact person we want at this event! Why? Because you’re decisive, and you’re going to plug into this material to get the absolute most out of it!

We want to reward you for that! So, if you act quickly, you can secure one of our guest seats for only $247 (a $650 savings) that we reserve specifically so you can bring a team member, peer, or spouse who also wants to take their leadership to the next level or who plans to support you in your growth.

Secure a seat for them now while the price is the lowest it’s going to be and save $650 off regular ticket pricing. If you split the total price for both seats, you’ll both only pay $422 to attend.

Go here to take advantage of extreme early bird pricing that ends in one week

So go reserve your seat now, and once you’ve moved forward with that decision behind you, you can check out your bonuses, and start planning your trip in May!

If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or email my team at info@chrislocurto.com.

Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you in May!

And by the way, here’s what other entrepreneurs and leaders said about this event.

 “Attending Chris’ team events has allowed our organization to exceed every goal we have had” – Bill Fischer, President, Fantom Materials Inc., and Vilimia, Inc

“I always walk away with meaningful knowledge I can apply right away” – Brent Van Haren, COO, SecurAlarm Systems

“For over 4 years, I’ve been benefiting in business and life with CLo’s Live Events.”

– Stephen Scoggins, CEO, Custom Home Exteriors, and Founder, Journey Principles

“The content and experience of the event is fantastic, the friendships – genuine, and the staff is fantastic. If you leave without a sense of energy, renewal, and challenge – you did it wrong.” – Quinn Denning, President, Rapidtek

“The best decision I made was to bring my operations manager. We left the event ON FIRE! Goals are now in place for 2016.” – Josh Gettig, CEO, Mite-E Exterminating and Graystone Environmental

 “Attending a Live Event was one of the best investments I’ve made – it’s not only impacted my business, but me personally as well.” – Mike Forrester, CEO, Kojeta

 “I always leave with huge ideas. Unlike other live events, I leave with actionable ideas that positively impact our culture and bottom line.” – Bo McDonald, Owner, Your Marketing Co.

“You walk away feeling educated, empowered, and motivated to make your goals happen.” – Shauna Watson, Watson Engineering

Go here to learn all about and register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

 

Click here for today’s transcription.

Chris LoCurto

By

January 25, 2016

One Conference You Can’t Afford To Miss

January 25, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

I’m so stoked to announce registration is open for our Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4, 2016!

Let me show you how to regain the excitement of running your business and leading your team, overcome people drama, and become a leader that ignites your team to produce more and take ownership of their responsibilities.

Click here to get all of the details for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

Look, I absolutely get it. You started your business or took on a leadership role because you wanted the RESULTS of having a business and leading.

Results like:

Making good money so you can do what you want in life (i.e. provide for your family, live in a nice house, take vacations when you want, pay for your kid’s college, have solid retirement savings)

Have the time and freedom to live your life on your terms (i.e. take time off to spend with your family, work from home if you want, heck…work WHEN you want and WHERE you want)

Make a difference in the lives of your team, and use your influence to set direction rather than just take orders (i.e. find more fulfillment in teaching and guiding team members to success, more control of your career and work)

It’s the dream, right?

But before you knew it, the amount of work on your plate, the running around like a crazy person putting out fires, people drama on your team, and the stress and overwhelm of it all some days has you asking why you ever decided to start this business or why you ever jumped into leading people.

Does any of this sound familiar?

So, now what? Do you keep struggling through it on your own with quick fixes or Band-Aid solution, or trying to learn from books and podcasts?

This is Leadership Training for the personal-growth minded entrepreneur or leader that you won’t find in ANY book. Why? Because I haven’t written it yet!

At this event, you’re going to learn core elements from our Life and Business Success System used with all of our high-end mastermind clients to help them transform their lives, leadership, and businesses.

After attending this event, you will:

  1. MAKE STRONGER DECISIONS

You’ll learn how to make better decisions, and overcome limiting beliefs and trained behavior you bring to work with you every day so you can become the right leader for your team.

  1. HAVE NEW TOOLS TO SET A PROFOUND & DELIBERATE CULTURE

Learn the secrets I’ve used for years to create a profound and deliberate business culture, where people feel safe and bought into the mission, are able to communicate honestly, serve clients like family, and get a heck of a lot work done, faster.

  1. TACKLE TOUGH CONVERSATIONS FEARLESSLY

Conversations that empower and ignite team members, rather than demoralize them and tank their productivity.

  1. CONTROL YOUR TIME AND TASKS LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Task saturation locks you away in your office too much, stresses you out, and holds you back from spending time with team members and leading well so people work at their best.

  1. OVERCOME FEAR THAT’S STALLING YOUR BUSINESS

Fear leads to bad decisions or not taking action at all, stalling you, your team, your business growth, and customer loyalty and happiness.

  1. UNDERSTAND ANCIENT WISDOM ON INCREASING REVENUE

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “America’s Rabbi,” head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and author of Business Secrets of the Bible, will share wisdom on ancient Jewish beliefs and practices on business and making money. Lapin is known for his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and communicate them in a practical and entertaining way.

This event is for you if you:

– Want to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and want to make better decisions to become the right leader for your team

– Aren’t happy about your company culture and frustrated with why team members aren’t more productive and don’t seem to care as much as they should about their jobs or the success of the business

– Struggle with team member conflict and stress about having hard conversations

– Find yourself spending all of your time on the crisis of the day and constantly putting out fires and can’t seem to ever tackle your to-do list of important work

– Have a hard time setting direction or making decisions you’re confident your team will accomplish as well as you would

– Have more days where you’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and overworked instead of spending time doing what you want, feeling healthy, and happy

So are you ready to breakthrough your own leadership ceiling and reach your and your team’s potential? 

If this sounds familiar, then our Next-Level Leadership Live Event is PERFECT for you.

I’m going to unpack more than 25 years of leadership and business experience growing and running multi-million dollar businesses from scratch. These are the same strategies and processes I’ve taught to THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs and leaders over the years and to my high-end mastermind clients today.

The Next-Level Leadership Live Event won’t be another live event where you’re given a blank notebook and a pen and the host wings it for 3 days.

I’ve broken down the core methods and strategies I’ve used for over two decades to build unified, loyal, and highly productive teams.

I want to share the wisdom God has blessed me with with as many people as possible because this stuff really works!

If you want to take your leadership to the next level, then I invite you to join me at our upcoming Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.

Here’s the link if you’re ready to reserve your space: http://chrislocurto.com/next-level-leadership-event/

Act Fast And Save Money!

If you’re ready to take fast action, you’re the exact person we want at this event! Why? Because you’re decisive, and you’re going to plug into this material to get the absolute most out of it!

We want to reward you for that! So, if you act quickly, you can secure one of our guest seats for only $247 (a $650 savings) that we reserve specifically so you can bring a team member, peer, or spouse who also wants to take their leadership to the next level or who plans to support you in your growth.

Secure a seat for them now while the price is the lowest it’s going to be and save $650 off regular ticket pricing. If you split the total price for both seats, you’ll both only pay $472 to attend.

Go here to take advantage of extreme early bird pricing that ends in two weeks

So go reserve your seat now, and once you’ve moved forward with that decision behind you, you can check out your bonuses, and start planning your trip in May!

If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or email my team at info@chrislocurto.com.

Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you in May!

And by the way, here’s what other entrepreneurs and leaders said about this event.

 “Attending Chris’ team events has allowed our organization to exceed every goal we have had” – Bill Fischer, President, Fantom Materials Inc., and Vilimia, Inc

“I always walk away with meaningful knowledge I can apply right away” – Brent Van Haren, COO, SecurAlarm Systems

“For over 4 years, I’ve been benefiting in business and life with CLo’s Live Events.”

– Stephen Scoggins, CEO, Custom Home Exteriors, and Founder, Journey Principles

“The content and experience of the event is fantastic, the friendships – genuine, and the staff is fantastic. If you leave without a sense of energy, renewal, and challenge – you did it wrong.” – Quinn Denning, President, Rapidtek

“The best decision I made was to bring my operations manager. We left the event ON FIRE! Goals are now in place for 2016.” – Josh Gettig, CEO, Mite-E Exterminating and Graystone Environmental

 “Attending a Live Event was one of the best investments I’ve made – it’s not only impacted my business, but me personally as well.” – Mike Forrester, CEO, Kojeta

 “I always leave with huge ideas. Unlike other live events, I leave with actionable ideas that positively impact our culture and bottom line.” – Bo McDonald, Owner, Your Marketing Co.

“You walk away feeling educated, empowered, and motivated to make your goals happen.” – Shauna Watson, Watson Engineering

Go here to learn all about and register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

Chris LoCurto

By

January 25, 2016

How To Dramatically Transform Your Leadership in 3 Days

January 25, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

 

leadership

Look, I absolutely get it. You started your business or took on a leadership role because you wanted the RESULTS of having a business and leading.

Results like:

Making good money so you can do what you want in life (i.e. provide for your family, live in a nice house, take vacations when you want, pay for your kid’s college, have solid retirement savings)

Have the time and freedom to live your life on your terms (i.e. take time off to spend with your family, work from home if you want, heck…work WHEN you want and WHERE you want)

Make a difference in the lives of your team, and use your influence to set direction rather than just take orders (i.e. find more fulfillment in teaching and guiding team members to success, more control of your career and work)

It’s the dream, right?

But before you knew it, the amount of work on your plate, the running around like a crazy person putting out fires, people drama on your team, and the stress and overwhelm of it all some days has you asking why you ever decided to start this business or why you ever jumped into leading people.

Does any of this sound familiar?

So, now what? Do you keep struggling through it on your own with quick fixes or Band-Aid solution, or trying to learn from books and podcasts?

Or do you……….Wait for it………join me at our Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4 2016, and let me personally show you how to regain the excitement of running your business and leading your team, overcome people drama, and become a leader that ignites your team to produce more and take ownership of their responsibilities?!!!

HowToTransform

Click here to get all of the details for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

This is Leadership Training for the personal-growth minded entrepreneur or leader that you won’t find in ANY book. Why? Because I haven’t written it yet!

At this event, you’re going to learn core elements from our Life and Business Success System used with all of our high-end mastermind clients to help them transform their lives, leadership, and businesses.

After attending this event, you will:

  1. MAKE STRONGER DECISIONS

You’ll learn how to make better decisions, and overcome limiting beliefs and trained behavior you bring to work with you every day so you can become the right leader for your team.

  1. HAVE NEW TOOLS TO SET A PROFOUND & DELIBERATE CULTURE

Learn the secrets I’ve used for years to create a profound and deliberate business culture, where people feel safe and bought into the mission, are able to communicate honestly, serve clients like family, and get a heck of a lot work done, faster.

  1. TACKLE TOUGH CONVERSATIONS FEARLESSLY

Conversations that empower and ignite team members, rather than demoralize them and tank their productivity.

  1. CONTROL YOUR TIME AND TASKS LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Task saturation locks you away in your office too much, stresses you out, and holds you back from spending time with team members and leading well so people work at their best.

  1. OVERCOME FEAR THAT’S STALLING YOUR BUSINESS

Fear leads to bad decisions or not taking action at all, stalling you, your team, your business growth, and customer loyalty and happiness.

  1. UNDERSTAND ANCIENT WISDOM ON INCREASING REVENUE

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “America’s Rabbi,” head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and author of Business Secrets of the Bible, will share wisdom on ancient Jewish beliefs and practices on business and making money. Lapin is known for his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and communicate them in a practical and entertaining way.

This event is for you if you:

– Want to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and want to make better decisions to become the right leader for your team

– Aren’t happy about your company culture and frustrated with why team members aren’t more productive and don’t seem to care as much as they should about their jobs or the success of the business

– Struggle with team member conflict and stress about having hard conversations

– Find yourself spending all of your time on the crisis of the day and constantly putting out fires and can’t seem to ever tackle your to-do list of important work

– Have a hard time setting direction or making decisions you’re confident your team will accomplish as well as you would

– Have more days where you’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and overworked instead of spending time doing what you want, feeling healthy, and happy

So are you ready to breakthrough your own leadership ceiling and reach your and your team’s potential?

If this sounds familiar, then our Next-Level Leadership Live Event is PERFECT for you.

I’m going to unpack more than 25 years of leadership and business experience growing and running multi-million dollar businesses from scratch. These are the same strategies and processes I’ve taught to THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs and leaders over the years and to my high-end mastermind clients today.

The Next-Level Leadership Live Event won’t be another live event where you’re given a blank notebook and a pen and the host wings it for 3 days.

I’ve broken down the core methods and strategies I’ve used for over two decades to build unified, loyal, and highly productive teams.

I want to share the wisdom God has blessed me with with as many people as possible because this stuff really works!

If you want to take your leadership to the next level, then I invite you to join me at our upcoming Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.

Here’s the link if you’re ready to reserve your space: http://chrislocurto.com/next-level-leadership-event/

Act Fast And Save Money!

If you’re ready to take fast action, you’re the exact person we want at this event! Why? Because you’re decisive, and you’re going to plug into this material to get the absolute most out of it!

We want to reward you for that! So, if you act quickly, you can secure one of our guest seats for only $247 (a $650 savings) that we reserve specifically so you can bring a team member, peer, or spouse who also wants to take their leadership to the next level or who plans to support you in your growth.

Secure a seat for them now while the price is the lowest it’s going to be and save $650 off regular ticket pricing. If you split the total price for both seats, you’ll both only pay $422 to attend.

Go here to take advantage of extreme early bird pricing that ends in two weeks

So go reserve your seat now, and once you’ve moved forward with that decision behind you, you can check out your bonuses, and start planning your trip in May!

If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or email my team at info@chrislocurto.com.

Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you in May!

And by the way, here’s what other entrepreneurs and leaders said about this event.

 “Attending Chris’ team events has allowed our organization to exceed every goal we have had” – Bill Fischer, President, Fantom Materials Inc., and Vilimia, Inc

“I always walk away with meaningful knowledge I can apply right away” – Brent Van Haren, COO, SecurAlarm Systems

“For over 4 years, I’ve been benefiting in business and life with CLo’s Live Events.”

– Stephen Scoggins, CEO, Custom Home Exteriors, and Founder, Journey Principles

“The content and experience of the event is fantastic, the friendships – genuine, and the staff is fantastic. If you leave without a sense of energy, renewal, and challenge – you did it wrong.” – Quinn Denning, President, Rapidtek

“The best decision I made was to bring my operations manager. We left the event ON FIRE! Goals are now in place for 2016.” – Josh Gettig, CEO, Mite-E Exterminating and Graystone Environmental

 “Attending a Live Event was one of the best investments I’ve made – it’s not only impacted my business, but me personally as well.” – Mike Forrester, CEO, Kojeta

 “I always leave with huge ideas. Unlike other live events, I leave with actionable ideas that positively impact our culture and bottom line.” – Bo McDonald, Owner, Your Marketing Co.

“You walk away feeling educated, empowered, and motivated to make your goals happen.” – Shauna Watson, Watson Engineering

Go here to learn all about and register for the Next-Level Leadership Live Event

Chris LoCurto

By

January 19, 2016

5 “Can’t Ignore” Keys To Business Growth

January 19, 2016 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

5 “Can’t Ignore” Keys To Business Growth

If you’ve run a business for more than a day, you know growing a company involves more than selling stuff.

 Fast forward a year or two later when you’ve added team members, and you definitely know it involves more than that!

 Hello, people drama. Hello, your to-do list that looks more like a book manuscript. Hello, culture issues like gossip and people seeming to not care about the business and their job as much as they should. And hello, fear of failure – a fear that runs rampant.

 I should have just titled this post, “Hello, Junk That Frustrates The Crap Out Of You.” But I digress.

 As an entrepreneur or leader, you know these issues, and so many more, are part of running a company and leading a team.

 The thing is I’m no stranger to them either!

 That said, I’ve learned how to eliminate or minimize them in my business so they don’t hold my team back or me from crushing it every day. 

Here are 5 keys you can’t ignore to grow your business. 

 

1. Better Decision Making

Great decisions are made when you have great perspective, not only on what you’re making a decision on, but on HOW and WHY you make decisions the way you do.

Your decision-making, your life, and your leadership are the sum of what has happened in your past, and what you’ve allowed to influence you … This is what we call the Root System.

All influence you’ve allowed in shapes your Root System, and this is FROM where you make decisions. This could be influence from past bosses, parents, mentors, friends, coaches, siblings, and anyone else you’ve allowed to influence you.  

It shows up in how you lead people, decisions to leave work on time or stay late, to pursue new opportunities in your business, fear of failure, and how you respond to fear, and so much more.  

We all, leaders and team members, bring our Root Systems to work with us every day.

When you learn about your Root System and WHY you make decisions the way you do, it not only changes your leadership, it changes your life and no relationship will ever be the same. 

A key to learning how and why you make decisions is gaining great perspective. 

Most people aren’t great at this. Why? Because you have to be taught how to do it, and then practice it a lot. 

My challenge to get you started down this path is this: All day today, focus on asking people more questions instead of making statements. 

 2. Crazy Intentional about Culture

Culture is summed up by two things: actions and attitudes. And it starts and ends with you – the leader – in what you intentionally set and what you choose to allow in your company.

Each day, deposits are made into creating great culture or withdrawals are happening, leaving people feeling unsafe.

Around here, no topic is off limits, and no action is below anyone. I’m crazy intentional about having a great culture that champions are drawn to and thrive in! 

To the extent you shape culture, you swim, and to the extent to you ignore it, you sink. 

Force what’s necessary, Teach what’s expected, Recognize what’s right, Attack what’s wrong, and Repeat the actions and attitudes you want.

3. Take On Tough Conversations Head-On

Have you ever delayed or altogether avoided a tough conversation with a team member? 

That happens when you’re concerned about knowing exactly what to say, how the person will respond, how you’re going to feel during the meeting, if the talk will even help, and you make a ton of assumptions about how it’s going to go heading into the talk.

Does any of this sound familiar? 

Tough conversations are something to dread…until you learn a better way to have them.

Going back to Root System above, how you think about, enter into, and have a tough conversation has everything with your Root System.

Keys to having tough conversations are:

A. Understanding your personality style and how you contribute to conflict

B. Understanding how other personality styles contribute to conflict

C. Understanding how to guide a person to self-discovery of a bad choice they made

D. Understanding how to hold someone accountable for their choices and not worry about “being the bad guy”

E. Knowing the words to use, or for lack of a better way to say it, during the conversation (i.e. how to begin the talk, what questions to ask, etc.)

4. Kill the Entrepreneur/Leadership Crazy Cycle (aka. Task Saturation)

Successful entrepreneurs, those who are running successful businesses, control time rather than letting time control them.

Those who don’t do this well are in what I call the Entrepreneur Crazy Cycle. 

Basically, that’s when you have so much to do, and feel so overwhelmed you don’t have time to even manage your time…You don’t have time to delegate…You don’t have time to hire anyone to delegate to!

The good news is the Crazy Cycle can be destroyed. 

Here is 1 huge step you can take today – Set healthy boundaries with team members who pop into your office constantly with problems or clients who email you at all hours and expect an immediate reply.  

5. Overcome Fear

Have you ever felt fear about a product or service really delivering results, landing a big client, setting direction and your team actually seeing it through, growing your company into “unknown” territory, or fear of failure and what people will think if you do fail?

People who aren’t entrepreneurs or leaders think we’re fearless. How else could we “risk everything” and go out on our own?

Years and years into being an entrepreneur and coaching entrepreneurs, I know fear, especially fear of failure, runs rampant with entrepreneurs and leaders.

Fear and how we respond to it comes, again, from your Root System.

For example, let’s take fear of failure. 

Failure isn’t the problem. Failure is a part of life. 

It’s the fear of failure that jacks a person up, and it’s a lack of perspective on WHY it’s jacking you up and where it came from in your life that holds you back.

One place it can come from is a parent who always gave you a reason to not do something.

“Don’t do that, Paul, or you’ll get hurt.” 

Another place it comes from is how people responded to you when you failed. 

“Paul, you’re such an idiot! Don’t you know better than to do that!” 

Either of these scenarios and so many more can train you to fear failure. 

 

How You Can Take Your Leadership To The Next Level in 3 Days 

It took me years to get to where I am as an entrepreneur and leader, learning more about me, why people do what they do, and learning systems and strategies to overcome barriers, and grab success by the reigns.

And I’m so stoked to announce that you have the opportunity to learn in 3 days what I’ve learned and successfully implemented over the last two decades. 

If you’re ready to breakthrough you’re own leadership ceiling and go to the next level, you have to attend our Next-Level Leadership Event May 2-4, 2016. 

Extreme Early Bird Registration begins Tuesday, Jan. 26. You can save $300 off regular ticket pricing.  

I’ve broken down the core methods and strategies I’ve used for over two decades to build unified, loyal, and highly productive teams.  

I’m sharing this with you so you can duplicate your version of our success, and build the business that gives you the sustainable freedom, flexibility, and profit you want in life. 

If you want to learn more about the event, or register today to save hundreds of dollars off ticket pricing, click this graphic.

Next Level Leadership Live Event Chris LoCurto

Chris LoCurto

By

January 5, 2016

Best Year Ever

January 5, 2016 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

You and I both know traditional goal-setting doesn’t work. But Michael Hyatt’s process does. If you truly want to make this your best year ever, and finally make progress against the goals that matter most, then go watch Michael’s video.

You and I both know traditional goal-setting
doesn’t work.

But Michael Hyatt’s process does.

If you truly want to make this your best year
ever, and finally make progress against the goals
that matter most, then go watch Michael’s video:

 

michael hyatt download

Today, I am talking about setting up your year for success.


The Process:

  1. What are the most important things that you need to accomplish over the next year? Are they short-term or long-term?
  2. What can you actually do in 2016?
  3. How does it break down into each quarter?
  4. Who is going to do what?
  5. What can hold us back from accomplishing these goals?
  6. What resources are we missing?

Here’s to you and an incredible 2016!

Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.

Chris LoCurto

By

December 29, 2015

How To Find Your Voice

December 29, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

podcast how to find your voice

Joel Boggess’s ReLaunch Show has been named one of the top five shows to jump start your inspiration and one of the top twenty business podcasts of 2015.

On today’s podcast Joel shares his discoveries about the value of determination, persistence, and faith on all sides. He illustrates how those three actions brought about a new beginning. Joel believes everyone has a message that is unique to them and the greatest gift we can give is to share that message.

As a bonus, Joel has given us his top 7 mistakes that podcasters make. Click below to receive your copy.

download button

Here are a few tips from the show:

  • Refuse to be set up for frustration by “ten tips to do this” and “twelve strategies for that.” Instead try one, try two, try three until you find what helps you in your professional and personal journey.
  • Connect to who you really are, not who other people think you should be but who you were actually created to be.
  • Find the medium that matches you. If it’s not a book, maybe it’s a podcast, or YouTube videos, or whatever you are excited about doing. Then build a launch plan.
  • Find people to be on your launch team.
  • Write out your own tweets; then let your launch team re-tweet and re-post. Then all they have to do is re-click. This helps them be successful in your cause. People are so glad to do that. You then make THEM successful.
  • Make your posts practical with valuable takeaways.
  • Remember that people are hungry for your message, not everyone but do serve the ones who resonate with your message.
  • Find 10 or 20 questions people are asking in your area. Then answer those. Become the expert whether it’s exterminating bugs, starting over, or being the best administrative professional you can be.
  • Meet the needs of television and other producers.

Read Joel’s book Finding Your Voice: Sort through the Clutter; Discover Clarity, Confidence and Direction.

Learn more about Joel at relaunchshow.com and follow him on Twitter at @ReLaunch.

PODCAST DETAILS:

Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.

Chris LoCurto

By

December 8, 2015

Everybody Matters

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

Everybody Matters

The way we lead in business affects the way our team members live their lives. We make a profound impact on them by the way we treat them. We’re not only affecting the team member who works with us, but we’re affecting their role in their family when they go home.

WOW! That’s a pretty hefty responsibility and honor for those in leadership.

On today’s podcast, we talk with Bob Chapman, author of the book Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family about exactly that. Bob has been so kind to give us a special preview of the book as well.

bob-chapman-podcast-download-button

We need to have leaders who know where they’re going and how to get there safely so that people who entrust their lives, who join your organization in hopes of realizing their dreams through sharing their gifts, feel safe and valued.

As a leader it’s your job to make your team successful. Not the other way around.” Which means that you have to actually care about them being successful, not just forcing them because that doesn’t work, and realizing that when you begin to care, people become more loyal.

They become more dedicated. They have more buy-in. They actually perform better. They do a better job when they know that you care and people can tell if you do or not.

Join us and learn:

  • The difference between leadership and management
  • How to create a culture of caring for people
  • The importance of recognition and celebration
  • Why you need to share your vision with your team on a regular basis
  • An important question that ALL leaders and business owners must ask themselves

And so much more!!

Chris LoCurto

By

December 1, 2015

35 Strategies That Shape Productivity

December 1, 2015 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

35-strategies-productivity

Did you know that the cost of interruptions to the U.S. economy is estimated at $588 billion a year!!! On today’s show, guest David Horsager joins me to talk about his new book, The Daily Edge, Simple Strategies to Increase Efficiency. 

Here’s what you will learn:

  • How to give focus and intentionality to the most important things every day through DMA’s (decision making actions).
  • Understand the meaning behind S.E.E.D.S. and why it is so vitally important.
  • Manage your energy
  • So much more….

Let’s dig in.

Chris LoCurto

By

November 10, 2015

Autonomy In The Workplace – How To Lead A Team Without Parole

November 10, 2015 | By | One Comment">One Comment

autonomy in the workplace

We all like to have freedom and independence to be creative and get things done. So as an Entrepreneur, how do you balance that in the workplace and create that great environment?

I received a killer question the other day regarding autonomy in the workplace. Here’s what Marc had to say:

“We hear a lot about what makes a great workplace and I’ve read several things recently from people that I really respect and one of the things that is often recommended for a great workplace is team members having a sense of autonomy.

That’s great, but sometimes you have jobs that require a certain way of doing things. For example, we have a situation where we have an inside sales team and we’d like things said a certain way or presented a certain way and so on.

We’re not asking to read a script verbatim, but feel like we need things done a certain way because these are methods that have been developed over time and have been proven to work, and will ultimately make them more successful.

With a sales team of over 30 people in two different locations, we feel the need for consistency in what’s being said and presented. I’d love to hear some examples or stories of where a company has some guidelines of having to do things a certain way, but can still give their team members that sense of autonomy to create that great work environment. Thanks.”

This is kind of a difficult one, which in leadership, what’s not difficult, right? When I think of autonomy, I think of it as being two types of things. One would be self-governing. Can you govern yourself? That’s the main concept.

When we talk about it in leadership, we’re kind of taking the self governing part away, or at least some people do to an extent in saying, it’s just freedom to work alone, which should mean the same thing, however without clear definition of autonomy, people can run with that all day long.

Especially according to personality style, which is why our download today is exactly on that, the autonomy according to different personality styles. The positives and the negatives. It’s just short and sweet and that will help you to look at the different personality styles and know what to think about.

download

Make sure that if you don’t know your team’s personality styles that you go to the store and have them take a personality test. Get that done. You’ve got to understand that.

Do I think autonomy creates a great workplace?

I think to an extent, yes. What that extent is depends. It depends on a lot of things. What is it that the person is working on? You gave the example of a sales team. Now you have two different locations, you’ve been doing this a while. This changes things for me.

What I believe you’re asking is do they have the ability, can they self regulate or self govern themselves to sell our product the specific way?

The answer for me is mostly no. With that being said, this is going to change a little bit according to different positions. Salespeople that are reaching out from our business, representing our business.

You’re the face of our business in a sense. You’re on the front lines, you’re meeting our customers, you have the chance to screw everything up or you have the chance to win. It just kind of depends.

I had a sales guy one time that came to me and had a really big sale. He was telling me all the things that he did, I said, “whoa whoa whoa stop right there. That’s not true.” He goes, “well it’s mostly true.”  I’m was like, “no it’s not true. If it’s mostly true that means that it’s not true.”

He’s like, “Chris, I got the sale.” I’m like, “you’re going back and you’re calling that person and you’re going to tell them the truth. If they want their money back, done. We don’t do this. We’re not going to take advantage of people. We’re going to be honest in our sales.”

He went right back. He was very frustrated and a little embarrassed, but he went back and he had to tell them the truth. That client saw that as integrity and stayed with us.

The point that I’m making is that sometimes if you give people too much rope without the experience, if you give them too much autonomy in the beginning phases without the experience (When I say experience, experience in selling your products and experience being led. You having the experience of what they can do and what you can trust them on), then what can happen is they can screw things up.

They can manipulate situations, they can over-promise and then you have to under deliver. All kinds of bad things can happen there.

It’s a balance

The balance is starting with, “we’ve done this for a long time. We know what works.”

Ask for their input. Ask what it is that they think you should do. Come together and discuss this. If you agree with them, then allow them to go and do some of it, give some of it a try, but give them parameters.

It does go against the concept of self-governing, but it doesn’t necessarily go against the freedom to do the things that I’d like to do. I’m giving them baselines or I’m giving them parameters.

When somebody’s been doing it for a very long time, then there’s a lot of autonomy. Joel who has been selling for me not only for a long time, but is phenomenal at doing it, there are rarely things that he needs to get with me on because I’ve let out a ton of that rope.

As he’s transitioning and we’ve got another person coming on that’s going to have to take that role off of him, we’re going to walk through the same process. Show them what works; show them how to sell the things that we have, show them how to care for people like we care for people.

All of those pieces are going to have to be done so that we know that at some point we can let out some more rope, let out some more rope, let out some more rope, so that that person can have some freedoms in this.

When we’re looking at a situation like yours Marc, you’ve got multiple locations; you’ve got a team of people that have proven what works. In those situations, autonomy is not something I’m going to give a ton of.

I would tell them, “If you have a system that you think works, discuss it with me. If you can’t prove to me that it’s going to work or if you can’t tell me something that I think is going to work, you stick with what we do.” As you can see, we have two sales teams that are making money themselves. They must be doing something right so follow the program.

Again when it comes to the making sure that the message is the same, that is a must. That for me is a must. We cannot have mixed messages out there. People have to understand what it is that we are selling or what the value of it is or what we’re willing to do with it.

We do not want to mix up the message because it does a few things. Obviously it causes confusion on the team. Confusion on the team causes fear. Confusion in a client causes people not to purchase.

If the client is trying to talk to you and maybe talks to the other sales team or something like that and is confused or they talk to a friend that purchased something and they got a better deal or whatever, then this becomes an issue. Now we have a customer service issue on our hands. Making sure that the message is consistent is an absolute must. Consistency is crucial.

Now if we took another role, Savannah is working on our social media stuff. There is a huge level of autonomy there because we meet a lot. She will do stuff, research stuff, pull information, do things, come back, give me metrics, but we had to set that up. We had to set this process up and say, “okay these are the things I expect.”

I expect excellence in this. I expect reporting in this. We’re not going to spend any money that you can’t tell me what happened to it. I want to see the process. I want you to give me your input; I want you to tell me what we should be doing. I want to hear all this stuff. If you can do all of that then go.

As we let rope out very quickly. She attacked it, she’s done a phenomenal job, and so she has a lot of autonomy in her role. There are still standards, there’s still expectations, and she still has to report on all of them and she has to let us know what’s going on, how’s it working, is it not working, what do we need to tweak?

The great thing is is when you find that right balance, especially according to personality style, then what happens is you are treating the team member with dignity. When you treat the team members with dignity, you get loyalty, you get buy in, and you get ownership, which is what you want from your team.

You want your team coming in every day owning what it is that they do. You want your team loving what they do so that it’s not a J-O-B, so that they come in, they kill it, they show you how they did it. Again we’re not basing this off of hey your worth is based on your performance. It can’t be that either so make sure you’re careful on that.

Set the autonomy up according to personality styles

If they cannot succeed with the autonomy because their personality style doesn’t lend to it, you’re probably not going to put a high I alone. You’re not going to put them at a place to work by themselves because eventually they’re going to lose their mind and they’re going to need people.

They’re going to need some sort of injection and they will start reaching out and doing things and sucking up time. You have to make sure that the autonomy is set correctly according to personality style; you have to make sure that it is set correctly with expectations and metrics, measurement. Show me how this is working. Show me that I should give you more autonomy.

Now some people don’t want it. Some people would rather work well in a team. This is where some negatives can happen. Some people who absolutely want to work on their own. What you’re going to find is they’re going to take things into their own hands. They will make decisions for you and ask for forgiveness later when they’ve screwed something up. You have to watch this.

Team is way more important than individual. When I hire people, I will turn down an absolute champion who is an island for somebody who’s really good who is a great team member. The reason for that is because the team effort is way more important in my mind.

I need that team to complete stuff. I need that team to make things happen. If I can get the team humming and I don’t have an island out there that doesn’t play well and is maybe a jerk or rude or whatever, I don’t need that. I need a great team because we move forward together as a team.

If I can have my own expectations set, the things that I’m willing to do, the things that I know will work, won’t work, how much rope I’m willing to give, give them parameters. If I can do all of those pieces, then it can add to a great work environment. It’s something I do here.

Everybody on my team has a level of autonomy. Some of it is great and some of it, it’s not even needed. It just kind of depends.

Examples of Autonomy

You can look at things like Google. You can see that all day long. They’ve got a lot of it, but they also have a lot of parameters on work hours and clock in, clock out, all that kind of fun stuff. They allow people to have a certain level of autonomy.

Let me throw my buddy Rory Vaden in there. I know his team is phenomenal, but that’s because they are phenomenal. Everybody on that team knows what their parameters are, they know what excellence looks like. This is what Rory’s really great at doing, is that he really digs in and finds out what the experience is of the person. That allows him to give some rope.

He’s putting a champion in place to do their job. On that sales team, they actually probably have more autonomy than a lot of sales teams. Again that’s because Rory is set on making sure that everybody is not only excellent, but very efficient as well.

Hopefully Marc that answers your question. Everything has got to be measured according to two main things:

  1. What is the role?
  2. What is the personality style?

That should give you a gauge of what you can get as far as autonomy in the role.

Question: Do you have an example where you let out too much rope? 

 

Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.

Chris LoCurto

By

November 3, 2015

How To Attract Customers

November 3, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

attract-customers-calloway

Forbes magazine said positive word of mouth is without question the most powerful factor in buying decisions today.

The old number used to be that a satisfied customer will tell four or five people. A dissatisfied customer will tell up to 20. You can change the math on that now because a satisfied customer may tell 1,000 people. A dissatisfied customer might tell 2,000 people, given the advent of social media.

So, how do you grow your company? What is the key to attracting customers to your business?

Join me today on the podcast as a discuss with Joe Calloway, author of the book Magnetic, the art of attracting business.

What is the key or keys to attracting customers to a business?

The single biggest factor in your marketing, your sales, in the growth of your business without question is the quality of the experience that you create for your customers. Whether it’s a good experience or a bad experience, now more than ever before they’re going to talk about it.

What people tend to do is they say how can I manipulate social media in my favor or in my defense and they’re missing the point. You don’t manipulate social media. You create an experience that causes positive word of mouth. That’s the key.

People aren’t really interested in what you say about yourself. People are interested in what other people say about you.

So the question becomes then, how does the Internet impact a customers buying decision?

Here’s the formula that I think most people would agree with, People go on social media and talk about what they like, what they don’t like, what was fun, what was awful. I think it used to be in fairly recent history, that marketing consisted of, when it comes to the Internet, I need to get people to go on the internet and talk about me.

You really don’t have to worry about that. They’re going to talk about you whether you like it or not. Let’s pull back to the source of their conversation, which is their experience. You inherently control the narrative with the quality of your work.

80% of your time and effort and energy should go into product quality and improvement. That is marketing, because if you do good enough work, there’s no way you can keep people from talking about it, and that is what brings in more work.

You need to have a win-win strategy.

You’ve got to make sure the other guy wins. I don’t mean this in some let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya. No, folks, I’m saying this is the way the real world works.

If you make someone lose, they’ll go on the internet and tell everybody you made them lose. Not only that, they will stop giving you their money and they’ll take it somewhere else.

The people that I do business with, the companies that I am loyal to, are the ones that make sure that I win. Its’ the simplest, most powerful, and often most misunderstood idea in the world.

I read one time a computer consulting company had this as kind of a motto. They said buzzers and bells wear off. Quality never does.

Rule #1: Do great work. Rule #2: Have fun. Rule #3: Make money. Rule #4, and this is the one I love: Don’t work with people you can’t stand!

IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU ATTRACTING MORE BUSINESS?

PODCAST DETAILS: Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.

 

Chris LoCurto

By

October 27, 2015

High Levels of Quality Communication

October 27, 2015 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

COMMUNICATION

Today, on the podcast, we are answering a question that came in from one of our listeners.

Justin writes, “I have to start with the obvious. Thanks for all that you guys are doing and keep killing it. I know you’re always open to suggestions for podcast topics, and yes we are, so I wanted to throw out the idea of doing something high level on communication, and maybe topic in with your top 10 recommended books on communication.

I loved your list on the poverty mindset. I know how important you think communication is, and I think most of your listeners could benefit from what you have to say on the topic and from the books you recommend. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.”

Thank you Justin, we appreciate all of that. I’m going to answer Justin’s question but before I do I have created a tool for you to use to help you better communicate.

There are some do’s and some don’ts of body language when you’re communicating effectively. So make sure that you get today’s download if you want to know these things, and you want the power of understanding body language, and the things to do and not to do for effective communication. 

dos-and-donts-button

Now on to Justin’s question. Here are eleven ways that will help you have high levels of quality communication.

Verbal Communication

To have great communication skills, you have to start with caring for the other person. Yes, I said caring! Caring that they are not only an emotional being, but that they are a child of the Most High God! Which means He cares about how you treat them!

For communication sake, caring means that you are focused on leaning in the direction of the other person, so they can successfully understand what you are saying. This happens by understanding how they receive information, by staying calm, being focused, polite, interested, and to match the mood or emotion of the situation.

You first have to understand the person you’re talking to. How do they receive information? If they received it in sound bytes, it they need the scroll that is 10-feet long, if they need energy and excitement with it, if they need understanding and the least amount of conflict.

Whatever it is, you have to start by understanding how they receive information. That way, you can give it to them well. By staying calm in the process, by being focused on the things that you’re saying, by being polite, by caring about matching the emotion of the situation, whatever that is, the mood of the situation, make sure that you are following all of these pieces.

We are so usually focused on our own feelings that we don’t think about how difficult we make it for others when we communicate. I watch people be so absolutely short in their verbal communication, and give so little detail that there is no wonder why the other person doesn’t understand. If that is you, you’re not doing a good job verbally giving information.

Non-verbal communication

Your body language is constantly speaking. I am always watching every bit of body language from our attendees. It doesn’t matter who it is. Anybody coming in, I’m always watching body language. It’s nonstop. It tells me a ton about what they are experiencing.

It even tells me what they’re thinking. I can see things by the way that they respond. You can see specific responses that will tell you what people are thinking. There are all kinds of things that I watch. I watch whether people cross their legs.

Do they cross them towards somebody against, away from somebody, whatever it is? Do they put themselves in a position of power, where they feel more powerful when they’re talking?

All of that stuff is nonverbal communication, all of your facial expressions, your eye contact, whether you have it or whether you don’t, your posture, your gestures with your extremities.

Even the way you position yourself physically in a room, where you put yourself, where you stand, do you put yourself in the middle of conversations? Do you put yourself to the outside?

Whatever that is, all of that is revealing a lot about you, and for better or for worse. It could be good. It could be bad. Either way, you’ve got to understand that your body language tells a ton. You’ve got to understand your non-verbals.

Listen

Great communicators are incredible listeners, not good listeners, incredible listeners. Crappy communicators cannot wait for the other person to take a breath, so they can speak. You know them.

You’ve experienced those people. That may be you. Listening is half of the equation that makes me great at leading and coaching people.

Without it, I wouldn’t have any clients. They wouldn’t want to hang around. If all you do is communicate what you think someone needs to hear without listening to them, how will you ever know if you’re communicating successfully? If you’re going to communicate well, you have to listen really well. 

Patience

It needs to be at least equal to the content you’re communicating. Let me give a quick dive on that. You hear me say all the time it is your job as a leader to make your team successful. If you’re trying to make a team member successful, then your patience has to line up with the thing that you’re trying to teach.

If you’re trying to teach them or communicate to them how to make coffee, probably, not a whole lot of patience needed here. We probably need to run through this once or twice, but you really should have this after that. If you’re trying to delegate large tasks, then you have to have patience.

You have to understand that you may not be doing a great job communicating, or the way that they receive it may take more time. Understand that.

If you are just giving somebody an update, then understand that the patience for that is considerably less than making a team member successful on a large delegation project. If you’re giving an update, have the patience for them to ask questions, and make sure that they understand what it is that you’re updating on. 

Then if the ox is in the ditch, if it’s an emergency, then the patience is considerably less. “Hey guys, this is something we’ve got to do right now. Now unless somebody has some phenomenal input, we’ve got to go. Go, go, go.”

I’m the kind of leader who is always trying to teach. I’m always trying to make my team successful. I would spend a lot of time making sure that they understand stuff. If there is an emergency, if there is something we’ve got to get after, then there’ve been times that I’ve walked up to a team member and said, “Hey, listen, I don’t have time to explain this.

I need you to do this. Just go in this direction right now. This is something we’ve got to do. We’ve got a problem. We’ve got an emergency. Just make this happen. I’ll explain later, or we can talk through, or when the situations are normal, then I will sit down and teach.

This isn’t the time for me to teach. I need you to go move in this direction.” You’ve got to have patience, but make sure that it’s equal to the content that you’re communicating.

Ask Questions

Questioning is one of the best ways for you to gain perspective. It is the thing that shows people that you’re interested in them. It’s the thing that shows them that you’re listening. It also helps you to get a lot of information.

We don’t do a good job gaining perspectives. Since we’re not asking a lot of questions, since we’re not getting a lot of perspective, what tends to happen is we make uninformed decisions, or we show people that we don’t really care. We don’t want to dig further.

We don’t want to know more, and so they don’t care. They give up. You’ve got to make sure. Ask questions. Ask quality questions as well. Care enough to find out. The more perspective you have, the greater decision-making process you have.

Decision-making processes are usually junked up because of a lack of perspective. Make sure you’re asking great questions. I’m talking about the stuff that helps you to get real, good quality information. The more you do that, the better you’re going to be at communicating.

Respect

You have to respect people. You have to respect their situations and what they’re maybe going through. Stop and respect people. Respect their time. Respect their emotions.

Problem Solve

In high levels of quality communication, you have to be able to identify exactly what the problem is. You do that by dissecting the problem, so it’s fully understood. This goes back to question asking, listening, and patience.

You do that by gaining the information, not just talking or making statements about it, but gaining great perspective and then setting up a system of strategies or objectives to solve the problem.

Then taking that information, and putting together whatever it is that you’re going to do to solve the problem, putting together some objectives to get this thing done, whatever that is. Great communicators are also great problem solvers, or at least they can guide information to getting the problem solved.

Socially Aware

Understand you have to be in tune with other’s emotions. It is absolutely essential to understand. It is something that you need as an interpersonal skill. Is somebody going through something incredibly painful? Did they just lose a relative, or did they get fired from a job, or, or, or?”

Whatever that is, be aware. Be in tune. See how they are. Also, being aware of, like I said, what are people experiencing. If you’re the leader, what are they experiencing with the work that you’ve put on them? Have you done too much? Have you done too little? Are they being demeaned, whatever it is? Think about those things.

Self-Management

You have to be in control of your emotions. You have to be thinking about what is appropriate behavior. You have to be responding appropriately with appropriate behavior to the situation itself. What does it need?

If you’re flying off the handle on something that is absolutely small it does not require what’s nothing really requires, you’re flying off the handle. If you are overdoing it because you’re stressed out, if you’re overdoing it because of something you’re going through, you can’t just sit there and think, “Well, I’m going to respond this way. I don’t care what anybody thinks.”

It means you got to control yourself. You have to not get angry. There are times where I could be totally frustrated with a team member because of something that’s going on. The first question I have to ask, I have to self-manage myself, “Is this my fault? Did I not do a good job communicating? Am I the one to blame here? If not, then why didn’t I catch this?”

I first always try and look at myself, and say, “How are you the one who is contributing to this problem,” and solve it? Don’t get a little crazy. Don’t get frustrated. Understand what’s happening. Be aware of yourself. Be aware of your behavior.

Responsible and Accountable

You have to be responsible and accountable with your actions, with your communication. Responsibility says personal responsibility, being mature. If you say that you’re going to do something, actually do it.

If you say that you’re going to do something and you don’t, take responsibility. If something crashes or goes wrong because of something you did or did not do, take responsibility. “Guys, I am so sorry. That is my bad. I did that. I know I failed that. I screwed that up.” Whatever it is, take responsibility.

Also, hold yourself accountable for your own actions. One of the things I’m always doing or at least trying to do with myself is I’m always trying to tell myself, “Hey man, look at this situation. You need to act. You need to take responsibility. You need to apologize. You need to do whatever.”

That part of accountability and holding my own self accountable by calling my own self out helps me to be not only a great communicator, but it also gains a lot of respect. It also gains a lot of loyalty, because when others see that I am very quick to call myself, and I think I’m right, I think I’m right.

The moment I realize I’m not, “Hey, I’m wrong. I’m sorry, I’m wrong. I screwed that up. I did this or whatever.” That is a part of accountability. Get on it. Take responsibility. Hold yourself accountable.

Assertive

This should not be used as a license to be a jerk. I am not talking about you being assertive in the jerk way, where you just start ripping on people. That is not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that it goes hand and hand with what you hear me saying when it comes to things like healthy boundaries.

If somebody’s trying to control you, trying to manipulate you, just not respecting you in this situation, then you may need to go ahead and give a little push back. You may need to go ahead and be a little assertive. Put a good healthy boundary in place. I am not saying being assertive by being a jerk. Please understand that.

These are all things that I want you to be thinking about. If you want to have high levels of quality communication, if you want to be a great communicator, if you want to lead your team well, if you want to do the things that create success for team members, create success for you, so you can communicate well in your relationships, in your work, whatever it is, then these are things you need to be focused on, things you need to be thinking about. By doing these, you would become a great communicator.

 

As promised, here are my top books for better communication:

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently, by John C. Maxwell

  • John C. Maxwell says if you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with people. In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, Maxwell shares the Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting

How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

  • Three fundamental techniques in handling people
  • The six ways to make people like you
  • The twelve ways to win people to you way of thinking
  • The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

Safe People, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend 

  • Solid guidance for making safe choices in relationships, from friendships to romance. They help identify the nurturing people we all need in our lives, as well as ones we need to learn to avoid. Safe People will help you to recognize 20 traits of relationally untrustworthy people. Discover what makes some people relationally safe, and how to avoid unhealthy entanglements. You’ll learn about things within yourself that jeopardize your relational security. And you’ll find out what to do and what not to do to develop a balanced, healthy approach to relationships.

Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson

  • Prepare for high-stakes situations
  • Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

Made To Stick, by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

  • A book that will transform the way you communicate ideas, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick. 

Communicating for a Change, by Andy Stanley

  • In Communicating for a Change, Andy Stanley and Lane Jones offer a unique strategy for communicators seeking to deliver captivating and practical messages. In this highly creative presentation, the authors unpack seven concepts that will empower you to engage and impact your audience in a way that leaves them wanting more.

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

  • The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey 

  • Focus and act on what can be controlled and influenced, instead of what can’t.
  • Define clear measures of success and create a plan to achieve them for both life and work.
  • Prioritize and achieve the most important goals instead of constantly reacting to urgencies.
  • Develop innovative solutions that leverage diversity and satisfy all key stakeholders.
  • Collaborate more effectively with others by building high-trust relationships of mutual benefit.

Boundaries, by Henry Cloud, John Townsend

  • Biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

 

We love hearing from you so please keep those questions coming! 

Chris LoCurto

By

October 20, 2015

How To Wow Your Audience with Michael Port

October 20, 2015 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

michael port graphic

First off, when I say audience, you probably think a concert or a show don’t you? An audience is somebody who is listening. It could be one person sitting across the desk from you, or it could be a theater filled with people.

Anybody who you ask for attention from is an audience, and there is often an inherent value in that interaction based on performance. Performance in the way that we’re looking at is about authenticity.

The greatest performers in the world are the most honest ones, the most authentic ones. Performance is about amplifying different parts of your personality in order to achieve a particular goal.

Today we are talking to Michael Port, author of Steal the ShowHow to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life.

We have got a fabulous download from Michael today. It’s “50 Tips You Can’t Afford To Ignore If You Want To Wow Your Audience.”

michael port button

“Your life is made up of lots of high stakes situations, and how you perform during those moments, and if you fall flat, then your life is relatively flat, but if you can shine when the spotlight’s on you, then you get to do big things.”

The book focuses on on feedback, how to give it, how to take it, how to get the kind of feedback that you want. We tend to run away from criticism, and as a result, we don’t grow.

Tweetable:

 

Recognize that you don’t need to be an entertainer to be a performer. You just need to be somebody who wants to connect with others and deliver on promises.

You can focus on you, or you can focus on what the people are hearing. The moment you stop thinking about yourself, the moment you stop being nervous.

So how do you crush your fears and face your critics?

BE PREPARED: One of the reasons that we are often afraid is because we are not as prepared as we would like to be. We don’t know if we are going to be able to deliver what we want to deliver. If you’re prepared, then you tend to be calmer.

STOP BEING SELF ABSORBED: Once we start thinking about ourselves, and we go, “Oh my God, I look fat in these pants,” or “They’re going to hate me,” or “They’re not going to believe anything I have to say,” or “Who am I to say this? It’s already been said,” or any other number of things that we start to obsess on.

When we obsess on those things, it just gets worse. It’s a downward spiral. If we focus on the audience and every speech, every interview, every negotiation, every deal, every engagement, then we are serving our audience. Our job is to deliver on the promise, to focus on the people we’re meant to serve.

When your focus comes off of you, and your own needs, and anxieties, and on to the people that you’re there to serve, it gets a lot easier. You get a lot more relaxed.

You are more comfortable, and you forget about some of the things that were making you nervous, because you can’t hold those two thoughts in your head at the same time. Your mind is focused on one thing, which is delivering on the promise, that you don’t have the space in your brain for the anxiety.

How do people create a story that keeps their audience, whether it is thousands of people or two people? How do they keep people on the edge of their seats?

People, places, things, and then times or events. That simple! Here is where you grab paper and a pen.

Take out a piece of paper, and you would just put a line on the side of the piece paper with a title that says “Stories.” You’re not going to judge these stories. You’re not deciding whether or not you’re going to use these at any point. You’re just trying to remember the stories. That’s all.

Then you back later, and you look and go, “Could I use that in my next meeting to demonstrate the point of hard work,” or “Could I use that story to demonstrate that every once in a while we do things that make us look foolish, but you know what, we live to tell the tale?” You go back after and do that.

Then, brainstorm the whole story. Sometimes, it helps recording it. If you do it on audio, and then you listen back, you can write it down, what you said or you can have it transcribed if it’s a very long story.

It’s good to have just a big messy draft, because you are going to cut some of it. Cut it, sculpt it, and mold it into three acts.

ACT 1: The Exposition: The time, the setting, and the place. It’s the information that the listener needs to know in order to understand what comes next.

ACT 2: The Conflict: It starts with inciting incidence. Something occurs that creates conflict, and that conflict spurs some kind of action, and that action might create more conflict, which then spurs some more action, which the spurs some more conflict. That’s where the tension’s created.

ACT 3: The Resolution: Resolution is the thing that we’re waiting for. It’s not always happy. Sometimes it’s “they all lived happily ever after,” and sometimes it’s “they all died in the end.” The resolution determines the length of the story, meaning if the resolution is worth waiting for, it’s incredible powerful.

What is the biggest mistake that somebody in public speaking, in acting, or in selling can make, and how can they avoid it? 

Respect. If you do not respect the audience, it’s hard to win them over. You need to respect them, and love them no matter what they’re doing.

If you found this valuable, inspiring and worthy of your time, please share it!

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript of this week’s episode.

Chris LoCurto

By

October 13, 2015

Mastering Habits with Gretchen Rubin

October 13, 2015 | By | One Comment">One Comment

Mastering Habits with Gretchen Rubin

Do you have any bad habits? Do you wonder why so many successful Entrepreneurs are able to create habits that contribute to their success while others can’t seem to get them to stick? Well then you are in for a treat on today’s podcast.

The crazy, incredibly talented Gretchen Rubin in on to talk about that very thing! There was so much good information that our post today is the actual transcription from the show. I didn’t want you to miss a thing!

Today is a very exciting day. We have the very talented Gretchen Rubin on board. She’s going to be talking to us about changing habits, about understanding habits, about having a better life because of habits.

She’s so fantastic that she has allowed us to give you guys something very special, and that is a checklist for habit change. If you’re going to be successful, one of the first things you need to do is make sure that you’ve got a great checklist on how to do this.

habit-change-checklist-gretchen-rubin

Gretchen is the author of several books including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, and Happier At Home. Not only is she changing lives through her enormous readership, but she also is doing it on her popular weekly podcast Happier With Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen, you are talking about stuff that is so near and dear to our hearts, which is how we can have a healthier happier life and doing it through the habit process.

I think there’s probably a lot of people that are currently listening thinking, “Okay, I’m really excited about this,” and probably some folks that are going, “Oh gosh. This is probably going to scare me a little bit,” because of bad habits.

Before we do that, I understand that you have a habit of self-medicating with the Harry Potter series.

That’s right. One of the things that I argue is that it’s really helpful to know yourself when you’re changing your habits, and for life generally, it’s really important to know yourself. One of the things that I noticed about myself is that I have a tell.

Just like in poker, I have a tell where you can tell if I’m really stressed out because I start reading children’s books because it calms me. When I realized that about myself, then I realized, if I need to calm myself if I’m doing something really stressful, I can go out and read children’s book medicinally.

I had a very stressful work period, so I allowed myself to re-read the entire Harry Potter series as a method of cultivating serenity.

That is a pretty fantastic habit. Is it because it gets your mind off of you?

Yeah. I think probably it’s that I’ve already read these books so I’m not anxious, like I know how it’s all going to turn out. I love them so it makes me happy and they’re very absorbing.

One of the things with happiness and habits, is to manage your own mind, to really think about the mood that you’re in or the way that you’re feeling and think about, “What can I do to fix this?

With my conscious thoughts and actions, how can I intervene?” Because we aren’t just these kites blowing in the wind. There’s things that we can do that can affect the way we feel.

Right. Today, we’re talking about Better Than Before. Tell us about the background, how you got into writing, and why you wrote this book.

I got into the subject of habits because I’ve been reading and writing and talking to people for years about happiness and I noticed a very striking pattern, which is that when I talk to people about habit, about a happiness challenge that they were facing, they very often pointed to something that, at its core, had to do with a habit.

Some people would say, “Well, my problem is I’m exhausted all the time.” That’s the habit of getting enough sleep. Or they’d say something like, “Well, I’ve been wanting to write a novel in my free time but I haven’t done anything on it in a year.”

It’s like, well, that’s about the habit of being able to make consistent progress. I’ve became increasingly intrigued by the role that habits could play in allowing us to have a happier, healthier, more productive lives.

You didn’t start out as a writer though. You had a successful career as a lawyer.

Yes. I went to Yale law school.  I was clerking for Sandra Day O’Connor when I finally decided that I wanted to be a writer. That was many books ago. I think I’ve written … I needed to count. I think I’ve written seven or eight books now. I had to start all over from zero after having put all that time and energy and money into becoming a lawyer.

Did people think you were nuts for making a left-hand turn?

No, they didn’t. I think I’m really lucky that the people who are around me were very supportive. Nobody really said I was nuts. I think some people are like, “Well, good luck with that.”

Certainly my parents and my husband were very … My husband switched out of law the same time as I did, so that was great because we both just … We moved from Washington to New York and we’re like, “Okay, we’re not lawyers anymore.” You’re always a lawyer at heart.

When you take a look at those people that are closest to you, if they are not supportive, then making a change like that is not going to happen.

No. I was so lucky. I really was very fortunate and that they were very supportive. I think sometimes the people who are closest to us, out of deep love, they don’t want to see us fail. They don’t want us to risk rejection or failure. They want us to be safe.

Out of love, they try to scare us at a particular direction, but in the end, there is no safety. I think if there’s anything in that last ten years has shown it’s like, “There’s no one safe place to be.” Then a lot of times, people burn out or they circle back to what they would have done in the first place.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who, eight, ten years later are like, “You know what, actually I’m going to go back to my first idea.” You’re like, “Yeah, okay. Well, you went to grad school,” or whatever in the meantime. I think it can be hard if people around you are really trying to get you to do something. Even if their intentions are good, they’re not helpful.

All right, so jumping in to habits. The first thing I want to ask you because there’s something that so many of us have heard forever, and that is that it takes twenty-one days to create a habit. What I would love to know is what your thoughts are on that and what are some of the biggest myths about habits?

Well, unfortunately that is one of the biggest myths about habits, which I expect you knew. Mere repetition is not enough to make something a habit, and we all know that from everyday life because there’s things that you can do hundreds of times and it never really quite becomes a habit, and there are things that you do three times and then it’s a habit that seems to lock in with iron strength.

Yeah, mere repetition won’t do it. I think the biggest myth and that’s sort of one face of it, the biggest myth is that there’s one magic solution. There’s a one size fits all solution, and if we could only identify what it was, then everybody’s habits would be fixed. Do it first thing in the morning.

Works for you, works for me, works for everybody. Just get up early and do that first thing, that thing that’s your priority to do it first thing, then all your troubles will be over.

Well, that works sometimes for some people. It doesn’t work all the time for everyone. Like night people, there really are night people. Night people, they’re more creative and productive later in the day. For them to say, “Oh, I’m going to wake up early and go for a run.

I’m going to get up early and write that novel,” that is not going to set themselves up for success because they’re night people, so the morning is not a good time for them to be doing anything that requires self-command.

Just over and over, I see with habits, I’ve talked to people and even people who are very discouraged about a habit that they’ve tried and failed to make or they feel unable to change. A lot of times, I think you really haven not given this a shot that reflects what’s true about you.

I think if you think about yourself and what you need to have a habit work, I think you’re going to have a much better life ahead of success. Fortunately, I’ve talked to many people as I’ve gone out with these ideas, and many people were like, “Oh man, now that I know XYZ, I’m able to quit sugar.

I’m able to go to bed on time.” It’s usually not some big thing. It’s some little thing but it’s the right thing for them. That’s the thing, it has to be the right thing for each of us because if it worked for Steve Jobs, if it worked for my sister-in-law, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for me.

That is the biggest myth is that there’s a right habit that everyone should follow and it will work for everyone.

How do you go about, and I want to get in to the four different personality styles that you talked about, but how do you go about discovering what that right thing is? Because it’s so funny, as you’re saying this, I’m thinking of a conversation that I had a couple of days ago. I’m talking with a friend.

I’m exercising at night and work sometimes just cuts into it. It just doesn’t happen, so I’m looking at, okay, I’m going to go back to putting it in the morning. I’m not excited about exercising in the morning.

I just know that I can do it, but as I was talking to a friend, my friend’s just like shaking their head, “Yes, it’s the absolute best time for you to be doing this.” I catch myself thinking, “That’s exactly what Gretchen is talking about.”

Like, “Oh, that’s the best time for you to be working out.” Well, that’s the best time for you to be working out, I would prefer doing it later on if I didn’t have such a crazy schedule. What are your thoughts on how do you find the right way to go about doing your habit?

I tried to pose a million different questions that will help shed a light on different aspects of people’s personalities so that they get a sense of how to think about what kind of habits will work for them, what approach?

The example that you just gave is an excellent example of one of the best questions that you can ask yourself is, when have I succeeded in the past? When have I done this well?

Because if you look back and you’re like, “Well you know what, I’m not that excited about exercising early in the morning, but when I’ve done it in the past, I’ve been really much, much more consistent.”

It’s like, “Well then that seems to be the habit that works for you.” Maybe part of the reason that you like exercising in the afternoon is that you let yourself up to hook a lot more. You bring in the loophole, I have a whole chapter on loopholes.

Or you might say to yourself, “Look, if I look at it, I might think that I’m missing a lot of exercise but actually I’m more consistent doing it in the afternoon when I feel more into it, when I feel more energetic.

I actually do a better job in the afternoon than I do in the morning, even though it seems like the morning makes more sense, for me I actually do a better job.” Really think about when have you done it in the past?

A lot of people are like, “I have this roommate in college and we did XYZ.” Okay, well, what was different about it then? Or, “Before my kid went to school, I did XYZ.” Okay, well, what was different then?

Because there’s a lot of clues in there about you specifically when you think about your own past because as circumstances change, maybe it’s that your gym used to be right across the street from your office so it was so much more convenient and that’s what made you go.

Maybe you went with a friend and that sense of accountability or that fun made you go. Maybe you went to a huge gym that had tons of options and so you never got bored and you always felt like you could choose what you wanted to go and that helped you go.

There’s all different factors that could influence whether someone found it easier or harder to keep their habit of exercise. An important clue is, when have you succeeded and when have you failed?

Yeah. That was definitely the deciding factor for me was knowing I have done this successfully. I didn’t care for it, but I’ve been successful at it and that’s what’s worked out.

The morning works better for you. Usually morning is good for people because it’s more regular, it’s more predictable, and things haven’t had a time to crop up, but just because it works for most people doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everybody.

Absolutely. It is the smartest choice for me, because of the way things happen in a day. I mean it could be a fantastic day and I definitely want to go out exercise. It could be a horrible day and it’s the last thing I can even think about. Talk about the four different personality styles or different styles. I absolutely know which one I am.

Excellent! I’ll describe them and then I want to hear about you. I love hearing about people talking about their tendencies. These are the four tendencies. I’m going to describe them where most people can get it just off of the brief description, but there is a quiz on my site GretchenRubin.com for people who want to quiz which will tell you an answer.

I developed this framework because as I was studying habits, I was very struck by the unspoken assumption in just about everything I read that we all have the same aptitude for forming habits and we all have the same attitude towards habits. That just seemed to me obviously incorrect.

It’s clear that some people find it easier or harder to form habits than most people. Some people love habits, some people hate habits. Then there’s also a few in between.

How do you measure people against each other? How do you create a framework for understanding the patterns that we see? This thing almost melted my brain, it was so hard to grasp. I realized that when it comes to habits, people fell into four very striking patterns. I divided all of humanity into four.

It has to do with how you meet and you respond to the idea of an expectation. We all have outer expectations that’s like a work deadline or request from a spouse coming from the outside. Then we also have inner expectations, our own desire to keep a New Year’s resolution, our own desire to start playing guitar again. It’s an inner expectation.

There are upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels.

Upholders readily meet outer and inner expectation alike. They meet a work deadline, they keep a New Year’s resolution without much fuss. They want to know what’s expected of them and to make that expectation, but their expectation for themselves is just as important as the expectations of others.

Then our questioners. Questioners question all expectations. They’ll do something if they think it makes sense. They hate anything arbitrary or irrational or inefficient. They want to know, “Why am I listening to you anyway while you get to tell me what to do?”

Once they decide that they’ve accepted an expectation then they have no trouble following through with it. In a way, they make everything an inner expectation because they have to endorse it before they meet it.

Then obligers. Obligers readily meet outer expectations, but they struggle to meet inner expectations. My insight into this came from a friend who said to me at lunch one day, “You know I’d be happier if I exercise and I can’t.

The weird thing is when I was in high school, I was on the track team and I never miss track practice, so why can’t I go running now?” I thought, “Well why not? Same person, same behavior. At one time it’s effortless, now she can’t do it. Look at her past. What’s different?” I realized she’s an obliger.

When she had a coach and a team waiting for her or a like a boss or a deadline or a trainer or some form of external accountability, when she had an outer expectation, no trouble. But when it’s only her own inner expectation, then she struggles.

Then the final category are rebel. Rebels resist all expectation, outer and inner alike. They want to do what they want do in their own way. If you ask or tell them to do something, they’re very likely to resist. They don’t even like to tell themselves what to do.

Like if they think, “I’m going to take … I always wanted to learn how to woodwork, I’ll take a woodworking class at 2:00 on Saturday.” Then they’ll be like, “I’m not going to woodworking class at 2:00 on Saturday. I’m not going to buy-in myself.

No one can tell me what to do.” They don’t even want to tell themselves what to do. These are the four tendencies. Now, come on Chris, what are you?

No doubt I’m a questioner.

You are?

Yeah.

Why did that ring through?

See, here’s one thing. We deal a lot of personality styles and we deal a lot with values as well. Something about me is I’m what’s called a high economic. I am huge about having a return on my investment.

For me, I question things consistently of, what’s the value here? I will absolutely pour my life out to change somebody’s life in our of our events or in something or just a conversation with somebody who’s going through something painful, but if I’m talking to somebody who is not going to do anything with the information, I’m done, I don’t want to do this. I do that. I question stuff all that time.

There’s so many things I could be doing with my energy and that’s right now and it’s slam time, is this something I should be doing? What I do know, oh absolutely, okay, go. I have no problem whatsoever.

But I feel like I’m also a quasi obliger to an extent. I feel like I’m definitely a questioner but also an obliger in some aspects, from the external, meaning the outer expectations. As I read through that, I was laughing at myself going, “Yup, that is definitely me.”

It’s true that we all have a little bit of questioner because nobody likes to do something that’s totally irrational or that’s arbitrary. We all want to be mindful of our energy and our time and everything.

Also, we all have this phenomenon called reactants which is if people, if we feel too controlled, if we like people are telling us too much what to do, then we push back. All of us, most people, external accountability is something that people feel aware of and that makes it, you know, is an influence on their behavior.

The tendencies really are like, what is your impulse? What’s your first instinct? What’s your default? Why do you do what you do? Because we can’t look at somebody from the outside and know what their tendency is in manners because you can have people do the same thing from all four different tendencies framework but their thinking about it would be wildly different.

Let’s say are you actually a questioner or are you actually an obliger? This matters for habits because for a questioner, if a questioner needs to stick to habits, usually the thing that they need is more justification.

They need to really accept the fact that this is the thing that’s going to make the difference. I’m listening to you because I trust your judgment and I respect your authority. I’m doing it this way because this is the right way, this is the efficient way. I’ve done my research. I’ve read up on it.

Now, if I’m taking a drug, I’m taking it at this dosage at this time and it’s this brand and I’m listening to this doctor. The obliger, very different thing needs to be plugged in. For an obliger, the key if they have an inner expectation that they’re having trouble meeting, the key isn’t more information the way it is for questioners.

The key is external accountability. Obligers needs external accountability in order to meet an inner expectation.

In my case no, I’m not.

Yeah. That’s the crucial thing. If you feel like, “Oh, I can meet other …” Like a very obliger thing to say, “Promises to other people can’t be broken, but promises to yourself can be broken.” I was like, “That’s an obliger way of thinking about things.”

The secret is make a promise to someone else for something that’s our own inner expectation. It’s been hilarious to hear the brilliant ingenious strategies that obligers come up with to give themselves outer accountability for inner expectations. They’re ingenious and it works and then they have no trouble meeting it.

Do you have an example off the top of your head?

Oh, I’ve got a million. One of my favorites, I thought this was hilarious. This was a woman who lived alone and wanted to get up at 8:15 in the morning. You think, how can you create an outer accountability for getting up in the morning when you are by yourself?

What she did is she used Hootsuite to make a really embarrassing Facebook post. Then, that post everyday automatically at 8:15 unless she gets up in advance and disables it. That’s really ingenious.

I talked to two people, they were two friends at work and they both had been commiserating about the fact that they’ve just ate fast food for lunch everyday and they kept vowing to start bringing in a healthy lunch pack at home and they would save money and be healthier but then they never did.

They just never could do it, never could do it. They decided what they would do is they would do a salad swap. Half the days, one would cook and half the days the other friend would cook. When they would do it, one would have to cook or the other wouldn’t have anything to eat.

When the other friend cooked, the other had to eat because her friend had gone to all this trouble to make lunch. The obliger said, “The thing is, I could never justify shopping and looking up healthy recipes,” and all this one, it was just for me because I’m like, “Oh no, I’ll just pick up something at work tomorrow.”

But when they knew that someone is expecting me to bring lunch, then they felt completely justified and looking through recipes and going to buy the right ingredients and it’s actually fun but I could just never get myself to do it. That again is, by using outer expectations. A lot of times people use coaches, right? 

All kinds of coaches, because coaches hold you accountable and that is a great thing. Now, sometimes people don’t want to pay for a coach or they want to do something different. What you can do is use an accountability group.

There’s a starter kit on my site GretchenRubin.com to give you ideas for how to start a group. The people in the group don’t have to be holding each other accountable to the same aim. It’s like, you don’t all have to be trying to exercise. It’s the accountability.

Everybody could be working on different stuff but the idea is we’re going to get together and hold each other accountable. A lot of times, people form accountability partners. The only problem with this is if one person loses interest or wanders off or gets distracted, then the other person is left hanging.

Many obligers who’ve tried this have said to me, “I get really frustrated because over and over, I get into it and then the person lets me down and I then I just crash to a halt.” If you have a group, there’s more energy and consistency to a group.

If a couple people wander off, we may be able to get a couple of people to join and it’s fun to be part of a group. There’s just an energy and you get ideas from being part of a group. People do this on Facebook. You can meet face to face. There’s all different ways to do it. It’s just this idea that someone’s looking over your shoulder.

With the different types, are there some that are better? I assume yours is because I believe if I remember correctly, you’re an upholder. Are there some that are better at creating habits?

Well, it’s interesting. It definitely is the case that upholders. They tend to have very positive associations with habits. They really love habits and they do find it pretty easy to form habits. It comes pretty easily to them.

The other tendencies, it can also be easy depending on if they go about it in the way that takes advantage of the strength of their tendency because all these tendencies have strengths and weaknesses. So, the challenge for each of us is to take advantage of the strengths and counterbalance the weaknesses so we can get ourselves to the place we would want to be.

A questioner can have no trouble forming habits but they have to get themselves into that place like you described of inner buy-in. They have to really power buy-in to it and then they’ve had to problem, so then they would find it easy to form a habit once they’re convinced.

Obligers, once they have that external accountability, similarly, they are incredibly consistent. Rebels can also form habits but they have to do it in the rebel spirit which means tying it to their identity and their sense of authenticity and also the sense of themselves choosing to do something.

I find that for me, if it has to do with muscle memory, I can do it in a heartbeat. If it’s something that I can very quickly go, “Oh, if I create this habit, I don’t have to think about that thing,” done. That is super easy. I don’t even have to do a ton of research on that.

But it is so funny because there are so many things that I will spend hours researching, is this the absolute best thing depending upon the value of it in my life, then create that habit going forward.

In fact, you’re pointing out something that is often questioners find to be an issue that they have to grapple with which is sometimes they can drain themselves or drain other people by doing too much research.

One questioner said, “Well, I get analysis paralysis where I want perfect information,” but often the world doesn’t give us perfect information or it’s just too much time to be devoting to something.

If you’re a questioner or you’re managing a questioner your round one, it can help to say something like, “We need to make a decision by the end of the week,” or “You can interview five people but not ten people,” or “This is what works for that team, we’re going to do that.

We’re not going to question it any further because they’ve had a good experience with it is as much research as we need.” Because it can be draining, too much questioning.

Both for the questioners themselves and also for the people around who sometimes are like, “Man, we made this decision. It is time to move on.” The questioner’s like, “Wait a minute. There’s lots that we haven’t considered.”

We’ve got a ton of leaders. We got about forty percent of our audience is entrepreneurs, about forty percent are leaders. Leading people in the different types, in leadership, obviously, you have to set expectations.

If you’re going to have incredible communication, one of the greatest things you have to do is set clear expectations. How do you know? Like, do you set the expectations for your team members differently? How would you do that?

This is a very important question because let’s say you’re managing a rebel. They often like a challenge and they like having something like, “You Chris, you’ve got the chops to do this. Show me what you can do. You’ve got six months, blow me away.” Then they can do it in their own way.

The more you try to micromanage them, the more you ignite their spirit of resistance. A lot of times, rebels need something, like they need the energy of having something to push against. “You’re telling me to do this?

Well, I’m going to tell you what, I’m going to do it my own way and it’s going to be better and I’m going to ignore all your instructions, but here I’m going to go off and do it.” That’s one with rebels.

Now, I should note that rebel is by far the smallest tendency. Very, very few people are rebels. Obliger is the largest tendency. Most people are obligers. Questioners close behind. Those are the two. Rebels and upholders are like the extreme wings. They’re very small number of people in there.

Obliger, it’s very important for managers to understand this. There is a pattern among obligers of obliger rebellion, where obligers will meet, meet, meet, meet, meet expectations and then all of a sudden it’s like they snap and they will put their foot down and almost arbitrarily refuse to do something.

This can be real problem in the workplace because sometimes it’s small and funny, but sometimes it can be very, very destructive.The thing about obligers is they feel like other people take advantage of them, and they are correct. In fact, the other two tendencies definitely exploit obligers.

Everybody does. Because if you want somebody to do something for you, you’re going to go to the person who’s going to most likely to say yes. An upholder’s going to be like, “I’m sorry I can’t help you out. I got my own deadline.”

The questioner’s like, “Why should I help you?” The rebel’s like, “I don’t feel like doing that.” The obligers, they’re amazing team members. They’re amazing bosses. They’re the rock of the world.

I know somebody who was managing an obliger and he said everybody wanted this woman on their team because she made everything look good. He said at her annual review, he said, “You’re doing too much work too well, and I mean that as a sincere criticism.”

What can happen with obligers is they can get to the point of rebellion and then you get this extreme resentment. You get burn out. You’re going to get destructive behaviors like people just often quitting, people just dropping the ball. Like, “I can’t do anything.

I can’t do it, so instead of dealing with the fact that I have too much work, I’m just going to let something completely slide, and maybe not tell you about it because I feel bad about the fact that I’m not meeting an expectation, so I’m just going to drop this ball.”

When are we going to figure out the consequences of that? 

The exact wrong time.

Exactly. If you manage an obliger or you are an obliger, you want to look for burnout. You want to look for resentment. You want to look for people taking advantage of them, and build in safety measures. “I know how many vacation days you’re taking and I expect you to take all of them.

I see that somebody’s added you to their team, that is their problem, not your problem. You got your own problems. I don’t want to see you helping these people. Everybody’s going to do their copy on this report.” Whatever it is to help them build in those limitations so that they can do their great work.

You really would, as a manager or as a leader, want to be thinking about how to speak in the language. Probably you have a little bit of everything.

If you want to get people on board, you need to provide ample justification and take the time to answer questions. Sometimes that can feel like someone’s undermining your authority or questioning your judgment, but a questioner just needs to have those reasons in order to get on board.

The obliger needs external accountability. Now, I have to say as an upholder, I was just talking to an upholder leader and a problem with being an upholder leader is that we don’t like to have to hold other people accountable.

We feel like everybody should be like us and just do what’s expected of them without any really reminders or supervision. That’s not very realistic, by the way, upholders. Most people are not like that.

He said that it was very hard for him to manage people who were not like him. Very few people are like him. He’s managing mostly people who are not like him and so even though it went against his nature to have things like deadlines and supervisory meetings and check-ins and all those kind of thing, it was important because that’s what he needed to do in order to lead his team and to get the best work out of that team.

Now, if it was rebel, that kind of stuff could backfire. You really do have to know what you’re dealing with.

Makes sense. I can totally see that. As an upholder, do you believe that rules are made for a reason and they should be followed?

That is my instinct. My instinct is to accept a rule and my instinct is to follow it. That is one of the great weaknesses of upholders is they too readily follow the rules and meet expectations.

That can get us into trouble in a lot of different ways. With age and wisdom, hopefully all of us can counterbalance the negatives with tendency.

I’m married to a questioner. My husband’s a questioner. That’s been really helpful for me because it’s just a model of like even if my impulse is to do it, I can stop myself and say … I have to take a step.

It doesn’t happen automatically but I have to take a step and say, “Wait a minute. I don’t have to do that. I’m a grown-up. I can choose what I do. Do I want to do that or not?” For you, that’s probably the first thing you think. That’s just flying out of your head.

I have to remind myself to take that step. I’ve learned the hard way that I need to do it or else I’d spend a lot of time meeting expectations that I don’t need to or in the end I wish I hadn’t bothered to.

Right. All right. So much on good habits, so much on bad habits, that I would love to ask. I guess the question to jump in that direction is, is there a more important way to go about it? Is it more important to create good habits or more important to change bad habits?

That’s interesting. In my book, I identified twenty-one strategies that we can use to master our habits. We use the same twenty-one strategies whether we’re making them or breaking them, because usually with a habit, you could put it either way.

You can say, “Well, I’m going to quit sugar,” or “I’m going to start eating more healthily.” “I’m going to stop staying up late,” or “I’m going to go to bed early.” That’s one of the distinctions that I draw that it can help people to know, do you gravitate more to something where you’re going to get a benefit?

We’re you framing it as a positive? Or do you gravitate more to it, does it have more power for you if you think about how you’re all setting a potential negative because people respond differently.

I don’t think the making or the breaking is the key thing, but I think it’s what it is, is to have very clearly in your mind what exactly it is that you want to change? What are you expecting of yourself?

Then go through all the twenty-one strategies and think, how can I use every possible strategy to help me make this important change? Because sometimes with habits, people would say things like, “I want to get rid of the habit being so stressed out.” What does that even mean?

I mean, they can get stressed out because they have conflict with their boss. They can be stressed out because they can’t pay their bills. They can be stressed out because they have a horrible work community. They can be stressed out because their refrigerator’s on the blink.

They can be stressed out because they are having a fight with a friend. They can be stressed out because … There’s a million reasons you could be stressed out, but just saying you’re stressed out doesn’t suggest a solution.

If you say to yourself, “I’m stressed out because I really know that I need to switch careers and I just haven’t taken any steps.” Okay, that’s something that can be addressed like behavior. We can work on that. What would the habits be that will help you switch careers? “I want the habit of networking.

I want the habit of doing consistent research even though it makes me anxious to do this.” Use the habit of scheduling. Use the habit of monitoring. Use the strategy of other people. There are strategies that you can use.

It’s really about knowing exactly what you want to change and then thinking about strategies that can help you do that because I think for a lot of people, there’s a lot of stuff … It’s not rocket science, like you read it and you’re like, “Oh man, I totally know about that.” It just hadn’t occurred to you to use it.

You’ve described the strategies, is there a best time to begin creating or changing?

The best time to begin is now. Yes. I mean, you don’t want to pick a bad time, like when you got the flu. Most times when we think, “Well, you know I’m going to start in the fall because then everybody will be back on schedule. I’m going to start in the summer because everything’s going to come down.

I’m going to start after the holidays.” I mean, you can do this all year long for decade after decade. That’s tomorrow logic which is to think that for some reason, it’s going to be easier tomorrow. Tomorrow Chris. Tomorrow Gretchen. They are going to have an easy time with this.

But tomorrow, as little orphan Annie says, “Tomorrow is always a day away,” so really, you want to begin now.

We experienced two New Years. I’m assuming you experienced that as well. There’s always the January 1st as a New Year. Everybody’s changing. Everybody’s trying to create habits. I think eighty percent are dropped within the first couple of weeks or something like that.

We see that a ton. We like to say it’s after Labor Day, but once your kids get into school, you have let go during the summer. You’ve done whatever and now it’s, “All right. I’m going to get back on track.” It’s so funny because it’s like if you were doing the habit in the first place, there wouldn’t be another New Year.

There wouldn’t be New Years, it would just be a process as you go along. That’s one of those things that is always so apparent in our business but it’s something that I try to battle in my own life. Don’t get stuck to the same way that everybody else does it.

Keep your habits going forward so that you don’t have to solve a health problem because you’ve destroyed yourself through Christmas. What if habits of other people affect you in a negative way? What do you there?

That’s a hugely important topic. One of the strategies of the twenty-one strategies is called the strategy of other people, because as your question rightly points out, other people have enormous influence on our habits and we have enormous influence on other people’s habits.

Even sometimes with the drive-by comment. I was very struck when I talked about my own habits and talked to people about their habits. Sometimes people would just make an offhand comment or be like, “Oh yeah, I read this is interesting book.” People will just pick it up and run with it.

This stuff is coming to you all the time and of course you are very much influenced by the habits of the people around you. It’s hard when they’re not helpful.

Sometimes they’re not helpful because they’re not being helpful. Sometimes they’re actually undermining, because your new good habit could cause other people to feel uneasy. It could make them feel judged because you’ve changed what you’re doing.

You’re doing something different from them. It might make them feel guilty because they know they should make that change but they haven’t, and so they feel bad. It makes them feel bad to think about what you’re doing. It might be inconvenient for them.

They’re like, “You know, now that you’re getting up and going for a run at 9 a.m. on Saturday, I got to get breakfast for the kids. I actually prefer to sleep in so I don’t want you to exercise in the morning.” You know what I mean? All these things come into play.

I think the best response is a different strategy which is the strategy of clarity. The strategy of clarity comes back to this idea that the more clearly we know what we’re asking for results and why, the easier it is when other people aren’t supportive. It still matters.

It’s still hard and you really want to be very aware of what people are doing and how that could be influencing you, but you want to be very clear. Then there’s the strategy of safeguards which is thinking about failure.

What happens if you slip up? How are you going to get back in the saddle? How are you going to avoid slipping up? What’s you’re if-then planning?

Let’s say you know you’re going to work and you don’t want to eat sugar anymore, and you have a co-worker who you know is just like, my sister calls this the evil doughnut bringer. The person who’s constantly bringing in treats and trying to get people to eat them.

What are you going to say to that person? You might say to that person, “Oh you know that looks great but not right now. It’s not that I never eat, I’m just not going to have one right now.” The person says, “Oh come on, you lost so much weight.

Life’s too short not to eat a cupcake. What? You’re scared to eat one cupcake?” What are you going to say? Have a plan in your mind, like what are you going to say to that person? What’s your response going to be?

When you have that plan in your head, then you’re much better able to figure out what to do in the heat of the moment. A lot of the things that people say or do, it’s predictable. Like, we know how Aunt Sally is going to behave. We know how our husband or wife, what they’re going to do.

We can think about it in advanced, how can I take that into account? How can I have a plan?

I love it. That was something that was a difficult thing for me when I was in the much larger corporate workplace, some people bringing in stuff and it’s like, “Please stop. I don’t want this.” Then it’s that one time that you actually do want it, they’re like, “Oh, you haven’t wanted it up till now.”

Yeah. It’s funny because you mentioned I have a podcast now, Happier With Gretchen Rubin, and I deal with my sister who’s a TV writer. TV writers, I mean, oh my gosh you cannot believe the food. Like it’s in their contract.

I think they have this giant store of goodies and you just get anything you want, plus people are bringing stuff in all the time. My sister is a Type I diabetic so for her this stuff really matters. She said, like she just has to say to people like, “I’m not going to eat it. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want you to bring it in. You’re not doing me any favors. Don’t kid yourself.”

The thing about the podcast is a lot of people responded saying, “Oh my gosh that’s so mean. You’re so selfish.” Like, “I bring in those doughnuts and everybody loves it.” It’s just like, “Do you really think that you’re …” I mean, you think you’re making people happier because they’re all crowding around and getting excited and eating the cupcakes, but in the longer, is that making them happier and healthier?

In the long run, is that really what they want? Sometimes a happier, healthier, more productive life means that we have to say no to ourselves in the moment or deny ourselves something. I mean, that is just the fact.

The people in the organization and of course the organization itself, the rules of the organizations can have tremendous influence on your habits because of the kind of stuff that they put in place. That’s the strategy of convenience and inconvenience too.

We’re much more likely to do something that’s convenient. We’re much less likely to do something that’s inconvenient. If your office puts in a gym, that’s good. If they put in a giant candy dispenser where you can go up anytime of the day or night and help pour yourself a giant bag of candy without even measuring it, that’s not good.

All these decisions, they’re all acting on you all day long.

It’s so difficult when so many people get validation or get self-worth by, you know, “Let me include you in this,” and “Oh, you enjoyed it? You liked it?” The person who’s saying no is a bad person.

If you were to go back to a young Gretchen, what is the one thing that you would tell her?

Well, I have twelve personal commandments. My first commandment is to be Gretchen. That’s what I would tell my younger self because we can build a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own interest, our own temperament, our own values.

When I think back, it’s when I know most what I want, what’s true for me, what’s true for Gretchen. Not my fantasy self. Not what other people wish I were like. Not what I assume is true or what I actually know is true about me and for me. That’s when I’ve made the decisions that made me happiest.

Absolutely. I love it. We have barely scratched into this thing and gotten some pretty phenomenal information. It’s such great stuff. How can people get more of you? How can they get the book? How can they get more of you?

On my site, GretchenRubin.com, you can find out more about habits and happiness than you would ever want to know. I have links to buy my books, to my podcast, Happy With Gretchen Rubin. I’ve got all kinds of resources for discussion guides and checklist and how to start a group and all these things and more.

Then I post there almost everyday something about my adventures and happiness habits and human nature. I’m on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and YouTube and LinkedIn, all that, under my name Gretchen Rubin.

There’s way more than anybody would ever want to see. I love to hear from people. I love to hear your own experiences, your habits, what’s worked for you, what’s not worked for you, your challenges, what you’ve done for your happiness. I love hearing from people.

Thank you so much for doing this. It is such a pleasure to have you on and it is so great getting information to help people that are out there trying to lead their lives, lead their teams, and obviously lead the businesses as well.

Thanks for coming and doing this!

Chris LoCurto

By

October 5, 2015

Life After LifePlan – Part 2

October 5, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

If you listened to part 1 of our Life After LifePlan podcast episode, then you are in for a treat on today’s podcast! Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it. You can always go back and listen to it here.

Also, be sure to grab today’s download and find out if your relationships are toxic or healthy. download-buttonIf you have listened to me long enough, then you have probably heard me talk about Marybeth a gajillion times. For those of you who don’t know, Marybeth was my personal assistant for six years. And when I say personal assistant, I mean she pretty much ran my life!

Marybeth recently went through her LifePlan, and had some amazing revelations that we wanted to share with you guys.

It’s taken a while to get in here for the LifePlan. Why did it take so long to come in?

Well, there were a couple reasons. First was just baby land, which is where I lived.I have been busy. Our youngest is now  almost 18 months. 

The other reason really kind of went away, because I was getting to the point where I’m like I just really want to come in and do this. After Joel did his LifePlan, and we talked so much about some of the stuff.

I was just, I don’t know if intimidated is the right word, but it’s you, we have this relationship. We’ve had this great relationship, great friendship for 11 years now. You are an incredibly safe person for me to be around, and I can share anything with you, but there are still these things about me and those deep dark places…

To have a really good LifePlan, you have to be willing to be vulnerable and open up and share things. That’s still hard to do, or at least I imagined it was going to be hard to do.

Amazingly when life plan came around, it was not nearly so, but I was ready for the tears, ready for the, “this is going to be so dramatic”. It wasn’t. I was hesitant because I had these things inside that I just didn’t want to talk about and I didn’t want to be vulnerable about.

This is the toughest thing for me because I’ve had close friends that have come through. It’s tough because of two things: one, I know you so well. There’s very little hiding, because I know a person so well, but the great thing about that is there is no judgment, it’s a free place to be.

It’s all about how great do I want my life to be on the other side of this as opposed to what can I hold back on. I’ve had a lot of close friends that have come through that it’s been tough, because I know more about them.

I’m able to get to those places that are a little bit more painful that also turn out to be insanely freeing. I also have to shift into I can’t be friend mode. I have to be here to walk you through this process and guide you through it. It’s difficult.

Going into it, like you just shared, probably the thing that held you back, other than the schedule was having to be vulnerable. Once you got in here, what was that like? What did that turn into?

It was easy. It really was. You ease into it, and so even though I think I was coming in with my guard up a little bit, I was like, “I really do want to do this, and I just need to just put my guard down”.

At the same time there’s this discomfort. Then we’re just talking and we ease into LifePlan. It’s not a big deal, and as long as I’m willing to be honest with you, we are able to talk about some things that were challenging.

Let’s dig into a little bit of that if you’re ready to get vulnerable again, for all the people that are listening. There are so many people going through what you’ve gone through and experiencing this and thinking, “Gosh, I want to change my life, I need change in my life but I’m afraid to go get change.”

As you’ve gone through the process, obviously we always say the first day is the emotional day. We’re not going to lay you down on the couch and talk to you like a psychiatrist. We do go through very intense, emotional stuff, but our goal is not to sit there and live in it.

Our goal is to get to the information, pull it forward and not show the “what”. That’s where so many people focus is they focus on is the “what”. We blow past the what to the why.

We go heavy into the root system and find out the “why”. Why did that happen. Why did these people do this. Why did I experience this in life. Why have I felt this way forever?

Let me ask you, what was the greatest revelation that you’ve received going through LifePlan?

Without a doubt, it was the truths and the lies, and really I would say the lies. I had a belief system filled with a lot of lies. I would say probably my biggest one that overarched everything was that perfection, or at least very near perfection, was where I needed to be.

If I didn’t make it then I was a complete failure. There was no middle ground. There was no grace. It was just I’m either perfect or I’m a failure, and if I’m a failure, I’m therefore not lovable, I’m not valuable, I’m not worthy.

I filtered so much information through those lies and it ended up taking over my life in a sense.

Did that lead to freedom by knowing that?

Yeah, it’s crazy! I’m not a failure.

There were certain aspects that you looked at and said, “This is happening, I’m a failure,” or, “Because I’m feeling this, I’m a failure.”

I would say overall that was just how I viewed anything. In things with my relationship with Joel, it would be like if I did something or said something, or I didn’t meet these expectations I had in my head of like, “Well, Joel’s coming home and dinner should be ready and the house should be clean,” like I’m a ’50s housewife or something.

Seriously, I had these expectations in my head, and I would feel frustrated and then it would turn from frustration into failure pretty quickly.

Especially if it was like okay, that was the day that some business stuff didn’t go well with piano, and that was the day that the kids were just crazy, but they were probably kind of crazy because I was trying to focus on some piano stuff.

Then the house didn’t get done, and it’s like everything would compound, and then at the end of the day I would be like, “Oh for the love of all that is good and right.” I would just become such a frustrated person, and it was all because my perspective was just jacked up.

I think the craziest thing, now, is I think I judged myself more than anybody else judged me, but I would just assume other people were judging me.

It’s funny, we were actually talking earlier, Joel would make these comments from time to time. For example, and I can share this, I know, but we were having breakfast the other morning and he chose not to have a waffle because he just didn’t want the calories, so he says.

Meanwhile, I had just eaten a waffle, and so pre‐LifePlan, when he would make a comment like that, I would be like, “My husband thinks I’m fat. He thinks I make bad choices about food, he thinks he’s so much better.” All Joel was thinking is, “I think I’d rather have eggs this morning.”

It has nothing to do with me, but because I have all these lies that I’m filtering what is said through these lies. I would take it completely different than how it was meant.

Is it also possible because somewhere back in your past is somebody who would judge you or somebody who would tell you things about yourself? You line that up, you get this training in your brain and these things that are lies from somebody else, it becomes a broken belief system, and you’re stuck with it.

How freeing is that on the other side to realize, and what’s the process? When you hear that now, what’s the process that you go through in your brain?

It’s funny, because it came up because he made a comment like that after LifePlan, and I just started laughing. I think he was confused for a minute maybe, but I was like, “Okay, so pre-­‐LifePlan,” and I love that he’s gone through this and that the facilitates this, because he totally understands.

I’m like, “Pre-­‐LifePlan, when you would say things like this, and this is what I would hear. You, I did not like in those moments.” It was so funny, because he’s like, “Wow, I was just talking about this about me,” he’s like, “I had no idea.”

It’s so difficult until you know, and Joel is phenomenal at doing this, and he does an incredible job of walking people through this, but until you pull that out, even a guy who lives and breathes this stuff, until you know it doesn’t matter.

I tell spouses all the time when they come through, like if a spouse sits in on somebody else’s LifePlan. I say, “I don’t care how many times you tell them,” because they’ll say to me, “I told them that a thousand times,” I’m like, “Did it work?” No, of course not, because you’re telling them the what.

It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them the what, if they still don’t understand the why, it doesn’t matter. It’s so difficult to go, “How come I can’t guide this person to freedom”? It’s because we’re only focusing on the what.

Now that you’ve dug down and you discovered the why, it changes everything. With that, let me ask you this, what is the most empowering thing that you learned through LifePlan?

Gaining perspective on what has caused me to become this way and what influences have been in my life and how I’ve gotten to this point of believing the things that I do.

With that perspective, I can say, “okay, well I’m not this horrible person for believing these things; this is just how I was trained to be.” Now going forward, I know this and I can choose to view things differently. You can’t just choose to see things differently when you don’t know. 

I needed LifePlan; I needed to really dig down to the why, to my root system to get that perspective.

The important thing to understand is, people say, “Well why can’t you just change?” I hear that all the time. “Why do you need to understand your root system, why can’t you just change your decision? You can make any decision you want.” You literally make your decisions based on what you know.

Based on training, based on information, based on influence. Here’s what I see almost every single time. I see people, and since you’re a music teacher, I see people grow up one way, have influence one way, and do a pendulum swing to the other side and say I am not going to be that way, and go all the way to the other side and do the same exact thing from a different direction.

If they have a controlling parent they become incredibly lenient, if they have a submissive parent, they become incredibly controlling. Those are just examples, there’s a ton of stuff, a ton of decision-­‐making processes, but it basically still comes down to the same thing.

As long as you don’t understand why those things happen in your life, why those influencers did what they did, why they taught you, why they said, why they lied to you, whatever, it still is virtually impossible to make great decisions on things in your life.

Now that you’ve been through this process, you’ve discovered a lot, you discovered perspective, you discovered the influences in your life, you discovered how to make greater decisions with greater perspective, and you’ve unlocked all of these pieces.

How does it change the way, you’re a mom of two tiny kids, how does it change your perspective, how does it change the way you view your kids, motherhood, all of that?

Freeing, oh my word. I love my kids, I wanted them to feel loved, and it stressed me out to ever feel like what if I’m doing something and they don’t feel loved? That controlled my parenting. Now, I’m just like okay, I do love my kids and I show them that I love them, but it helps me to not be controlled by them.

My darling Josiah, he was already learning how to manipulate mom, but, and it was frustrating because I wanted to make sure that he felt loved but when he would get fussy then it was challenging for me.

I was like, he’s whining, he’s fussy, this isn’t acceptable, but at the same time, I don’t know how to respond to him in a loving, kind way and resolve the situation. Whereas now, I’m just like, bust it out baby.

If that’s the choice you want to make, that’s the choice you can make, but you’re not getting away with what you’re fussing about. Now I’m like okay, you can make your choices and those are your choices and here are those consequences. You can’t control mom any more.

Instead now, you give him options. There are consequences for good, and there are consequences for bad. You can choose, but instead of getting your self worth from parenting, your confidence from parenting, instead you’re looking at more of I need to raise adults instead of kids.

We’ve had a lot of women that have come through the process. Some still had reservations about sharing this information with a guy? What is it going to be like to talk in front of a guy about some of these things?

First of all, there’s no judgment, so I think that’s a huge thing. I think that also I think when you’re willing to be vulnerable and open up and know that you’re not going to be judged, it really, I don’t want to say it doesn’t matter.

I know that hearing that, somebody’s going to be like, yes it does, but in seriousness, it’s going to be so freeing. It’s going to be so worth it to just talk about that, open up, be vulnerable and get through that. There is freedom on the other side.

That, for me, I have been through so much crap in my life, and I’ve experienced so much in life, which is obviously why I do what I do, that judgment is pointless for me in these situations. I always tell people coming in, if I’m getting my needs met by you, I shouldn’t be doing this.

My goal is to help you get all of your needs met and discovery and perspective and all that. I think that’s the thing that I do want everybody to know is that there is no judgment in this process.

There isn’t anything that I’ve heard, and the funny thing is I’ve had people that have tried to, it’s not that they tried to shock me, it’s that they thought, “Okay, I’m going to share this right now, and you’re going to be shocked.” I’ve even had people say that, and it’s like nope, no shock here.

The reason why is every single person has gone through something, some level of something. Some have just gone through so much more, so that there’s no point in judging. The judging is what people do, I say focusing on that surface level, the what. You focus on the what, you judge on the what.

The what is not the problem, the what is the outward expression or inward expression of the struggles from not knowing the why.

What would you say to anyone out there who is sitting there, thinking, “Is this something I should do? Is this something I should experience? Can I feel safe going and doing this and can I trust in the outcome?”

Yes, you can do it. Yes, you should do it! The freedom on the other side of it is so worth it. Not everybody’s going to have the same experiences that I’ve had, and so for me, my freedom was huge and freedom from judgment and a lot of that was even just self-­‐judgment.

That was probably one of the biggest things in my life plan that I gained freedom, and I’m able to go forward and have a better life and make better decisions. I think other people are going to have other things that they’re going to have freedom from, but it is worth it.

Do it!


Folks, hopefully that helps. That is something that we want you to hear, we want you to understand that our goal is to change your life, our goal is to help you find freedom, our goal is to help you live without the lies, live without the judgment.

Stop telling yourself so many lies, and that I think is something that we discover in so many people’s LifePlans, and Marybeth’s as well, is that so many of the lies are ones that come from you. Living without that, living, not telling yourself that junk, is complete freedom.

If you would like more information on  LifePlan, click here and signup today to get more information. All you have to do is fill out the information and Joel Fortner will be the one contacting you.

He will contact you, he will tell you anything you need to hear, give you all the information you need to make a decision to come and do this right now, but make the choice to do it now.

Chris LoCurto

By

September 29, 2015

5 Essential Leadership Questions

September 29, 2015 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

PODCAST GRAPHICS

We just wrapped up our Next-Level LIVE Event for our Coaching and Mastermind clients (we open some seats to the public and they go quickly!) and it was AWESOME! We have three events scheduled for next year.

This is where our clients come together with like-minded individuals to grow their leadership, their business, their team, and strengthen their community!

While the teaching is always powerful, (eh-hem…duh!) the greatest comments are usually about how wonderful it is to get out of their businesses and usual circle of influencers to spend time with people who are experiencing EXACTLY what they are in business!

For me, the greatest thing is watching leaders and business owners experience growth in a way that they don’t get to back home.

I love it so much that I wanted to bring it to you! This episode is about the 5 Essential Leadership Questions you MUST be asking yourself to find out if you are primed for your greatest growth.

Listen and I would love for you to answer the question below.

Question: What’s keeping YOU from your greatest growth?

Chris LoCurto

By

September 22, 2015

The Power To Grow

September 22, 2015 | By | One Comment">One Comment

the-power-to-grow-podcast

If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I’d wager some big money that you’re someone who wants to grow. The fact you’re reading this tells me that!

Growth in business is something that everyone in our coaching program, or our mastermind groups is focused on. Growing themselves. Growing their revenue. Growing their leadership.

Focusing on growth is so powerful, and we’ve now been doing this with our clients for years. And the results have been staggering at times!

A key to their success is the fact they’re not alone in what they’re doing.

As I was thinking about that recently, I said to myself, “‘I need to be able to share with people the power of growing through a community.'”

Below are 3 keys to look for in a great mastermind or accountability group. 

We’ve also got a phenomenal FREE download detailing 10 things to look for with an accountability group. This is coming straight out of our groups. The things that are making our clients absolutely successful! accountability-group

We’ve talked about masterminds on The Chris LoCurto Show before, about how powerful they are, but there are some new things I want to share with you.

Network Of Challenging Minds

First off, you may be wondering what that is! Well, here you go!

A network of challenging minds is:

Like-minded individuals who are focused on pushing each other to grow themselves and others in the process in the same area (i.e. Entrepreneur, leadership, small business).

If you are not surrounded by people who are like-minded, by people who are aiming for the same goal, than how in the world are you growing you?

There Is incredible Power In Community

There are 2 aspects to community. Having it; having people around you to keep you from being isolated in your own thoughts. It’s also a community of people that are sharing the same experience.

When you have that community of people sharing the same experience, growth happens. Jim Rohn said a long time ago that, “You are the sum of the five people you hang out with the most.”

If you have 5 people that you spend most of your time with, whatever that is, whether it be work influence, whether it be family influence, whatever those influences are, the top 5 people that you hang out with, that’s your influence.

Having that community is incredibly powerful when it comes to your growth, assuming those people are healthy for you.

So why is community so important? Well first off, when you’re not surrounded by folks who are going through the same struggles you are and who are taking the same walk you are, what happens is you become isolated.

This tends to happen even if you have friends and family you spend time with because they’re not experiencing a lot of the same stuff that you are.

This means they have difficulty relating to your day-to-day issues, stressors, problems, and even successes. You can’t talk through growth, leadership challenges, goal setting, work-life balance, and all of the stuff that comes with being your own boss.

And when that happens, you become isolated, and with isolation comes being left alone to your own thoughts.

When we are left to our own thoughts, we get ourselves in trouble. You need to have folks who are walking the same path as you. It also lends to accountability.

Accountability

People willing to take on the responsibility to hold others accountable to their own expectations. How they accomplish this is by not filling their own needs but by helping others to achieve theirs.  

Accountability is incredibly vital to growth.

It starts with you and asking questions like these:

“What are my expectations?” What are my goals?” What are the initiatives that will move me toward accomplishing those goals”

Once you have your expectations down, it’s time to build people into your life to help you get there.

If you get the right group, it’s nearly impossible to not achieve and grow.

As you experience life with others who are experiencing the same thing with you, it is amazing how much you grow. I can’t tell you how greatly my leadership blossomed when I started spending much more time with smart, healthy people.

A lot of the people you may have heard on the show are people I experience life with. We do things outside of business. We talk a lot of business, we share a lot of stuff on that level, but we also go to dinner together, and some of us go on vacations together.

As you share life together with folks who have a growth mindset, who are willing to hold you accountable, who have challenging minds, an amazing thing happens, you grow. And you grow exponentially.

Again, when it comes to business, if you are not growing, you are dying. Period! Every long-term, successful business succeeds by having a continuous growth mindset. Therefore, it is important to have like-minded people around you.

So these are just 3 things. Again, grab the FREE download to get all 10 things to look for when you’re pulling together an accountability group – a group of people that will help you grow. accountability-group

These are the things we do to help our clients be absolutely successful and grow like crazy.

Question: What do you suggest people look for in a mastermind or accountability group? 

Read The Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here.

Chris LoCurto

By

September 15, 2015

Life After LifePlan – Success Stories Part 1

September 15, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

We hear a lot about people saying, “We’d like to hear from more people who have experienced some of our events, LifePlan, StratPlan.” We have somebody who has been through both on today’s show.

Brent Van Haren is joining us today to talk about the impact that LifePlan and StratPlan has had on his family and business.

I wanted to talk a lot about LifePlan, but since Brent went through StratPlan as well, I wanted to know  what the experience was like for StratPlan. So I asked.

“That’s a good question. StratPlan was pretty powerful for us in our business. I think I told you afterwards in the first couple of months afterwards that it was by far the most impactful thing that I’ve been a part of in the business.

I’ve been there about 8 years. It has helped change our direction, changed our understanding of who we are. It’s really allowed us to focus on what we need to rather than just what we thought we should.”

Your dad had just gone through LifePlan. What did you experience going through that event? Obviously, the event itself was big and intense. Here you’ve got your dad that’s just a couple of days out of LifePlan. What did you see? What did you experience? What did you notice?

“I think the first thing, my dad’s a high D and raised by a Dutch farmer. Emotions aren’t really worn on the sleeve at any point. The first thing I noticed is just how open, and vulnerable, and then emotional in a really healthy way that he was for the first couple days.

That was really powerful. There was only 72 hours between the LifePlan and the StratPlan. He was still riding high on the LifePlan wave. It was intense, but immediately I realized how much I wanted to attend the LifePlan.”

You came down and did your LifePlan. What was that experience like for you?

“What was it like? It was probably, other than the birth of my daughter, as far as a 48 hour period goes, it was the most powerful 48 hours that I have had in my life. It was just so eye-opening and beneficial for me.

To be honest, it’s been about 10 months, and the longer I am away from it, the more impact it has had. It allowed me to really start to put into place some of the things that I learned.”

What would you say was the most profound thing that you learned in that process?

“There are a lot of things I learned in that process. For me, the thing that was hardest, that we spent 2 hours of you drilling into my head one morning was that I’m not responsible for other people’s well-being.

That was a hard one for me to get my head wrapped around. That took a while. My number one talent that we identified is a happiness transfer agent, conducting people on the happiness train. :-) I was able to acknowledge that that’s a real strength. I had never really looked at it that way.”

A strength because you are talented at it. It’s something that you do great! Pre-LifePlan, would you say that’s where you got self-worth?

“Yeah, it was very much a burden that I put on myself. I felt I had to make other people happy, or bringing them forward, or that it was my responsibility. It’s shaped a lot of areas in my life.”

Are you still able to use that talent now in a different way?

“I get to embrace it for what it is and not feel that it’s my responsibility. I have a brother in the business. I don’t feel like it’s my responsibility to make him happy, or to make him feel a different way. I have an impact on that, but it’s not my responsibility.”

What would happen pre-LifePlan when you were trying to make people happy, or make a person happy and it just wasn’t working? How would you feel and what would tell yourself?

“I don’t have a lot of negatives when you look at the things that put the brakes on, but that would be one of them. I felt like I had to bring someone out. Number 1, sometimes they just don’t want to be.

Number 2, it’s just not healthy how much energy I invest in trying to do that. I can’t say it was a conscious thing, but it was something that would really weigh on me. It created a lot of stress in my life.”

What other things were profound for you in the process?

“I always knew I didn’t have physical boundaries. I didn’t know that I didn’t have emotional boundaries. It ties in with that responsibility, that sense of responsibility that I had for other people’s well-being.  

I had zero boundaries in my life, and it also created a lot of stress. I’m a high D/I personality. My wife is a 99 S/C, polar opposites. My need to just do things that other people ask to make other people happy and to do whatever, created a lot of stress in our relationship.

The understanding and the ability for me to process and say, “Do I want to do something? How is that going to impact my real goals, which are, my family and my spirituality, and the other things in my life? Is this something I have to say yes to?”

It brought stress to your marriage, your relationship because would you say that you were a people-pleaser?

“I had to say, “Yes” to everything. I still struggle with it. It’s something that I’m still working on. I’m able to acknowledge it very quickly if I’ve over-committed and if we have created that stress. I know where it’s coming from. I’m able to fix it quickly.”

As an individual, would you sum it up as health? The greatest change has been your healthier emotionally? Healthier in where you get your self-worth, your self-esteem?

“Absolutely! I feel comfortable with where I get those things. I know quickly now if I’m out of line, if I just need to re-adjust.”

I think that is one of the most powerful things on the other side of LifePlan!

You have the tools to be able to go, “Ah, there it is. All right, back off of that and move forward.” I love that freedom of being able to know what it is and see what it is. Did you come in with reservations?

“There were definitely reservations. I was working myself up the day before and the morning of.  I was praying for honesty, openness, vulnerability, just wanting to make sure that I was just in the right place, that I was honest with myself. I was worried I would dodge some of the harder things if I could.”

What made it safe for you not to do that?

“You say it a lot, but I don’t think people really realize it until they get to know you that there is just zero judgement in the process. There is nothing but openness, and engagement, and sincerity. That made it easy, knowing who you are. Also, the value that I knew would come of it.”

You plugged these things into your life, but you also go back to a business that has recently gone through. Dad’s gone through LifePlan. He’s got big changes in his life.

The company has just gone through a huge event, StratPlan, big changes in the company. How do you see the business coming out of your LifePlan? How do you see it now? How has that helped?

 “It’s a lot easier for me to embrace what I do well and not get trapped in the things that I don’t do well, which has been the previous years, the last 4 years before StratPlan and LifePlan.

I didn’t really realize how much of my role was things that just aren’t natural to me. I wasn’t very effective at them and wasn’t the leader that I wanted to be. The LifePlan really helped me understand what I’m good at; allowed me to embrace it.

It allowed me to focus on more of my strengths rather than some of the things that just don’t come easily to me. Personally, that’s definitely impacted me. As a leader, I meet with all of the people that I lead, 1 on 1 every other week.

They’re like mini 1 1/2 hours sessions of LifePlan now instead of before it was just focus, how are we doing. Now it’s all about the individual because I understand so much clearer now.

It doesn’t really matter what is happening and how they execute the job if there’s some stuff underneath that we just need to understand and talk about and be open with. It’s really changed how I engage with my team.”

You’re really experiencing how people bring their root system to work every single day?

“It’s amazing once the curtain’s pulled back on that! We really dig a lot deeper with my team members and understand each other.

I am able to share what I struggle with so much easier because I know. That makes a big difference in how open we can be with each other and where we can get as a team.

We have a phenomenal team here. It has had a huge impact. We’ve been focusing on culture as of StratPlan. That was a big thing that came out, is how we communicate, what our culture is. This has really helped be a catalyst for that even more that it would have been.”

Your Dad went through. You went through. Your brother went through. You guys have sent 3 other leaders through. Why and what are you seeing there?

“There’s a different understanding now of each other, a different patience, not just with each other who have been through LifePlan, but just with people. It’s so much easier for me to look past the behaviors because I understand that they come from someplace else.

We’re able to really just engage with each other as people rather than as business acquaintances, or whatever. We just really engage as people. It’s really shaping our company to be a pretty phenomenal place to work.”

Power in team members, and leaders going through. It’s not just one person who’s realized this and is trying to change a culture, but now you have a team of people that are in it together, working to change the culture. Does it make it easier for you to lead?

“The big thing that I think it helps me as a leader is so much of it comes back to understanding myself. It’s so important for me and for really anyone to understand who they are. I am able to engage with others.

It’s changed every aspect of how I lead. There’s just this openness and comfort with me and with others that is just so different than before.”

I want to step back again just a little bit. We’ve talked about you. We’ve talked about the business. We’ve touched a little bit on what it’s like coming home. What’s the experience like now as a husband?

What is the experience like for you? What is life like now for you? How do you see your daughter? What adjustments have you made as a husband? What do you see as a husband? What adjustments and what do you see as a father?

“I was talking to Stacy, my wife, about how I’m trying to be deliberate with Addie, our daughter. I understand I’m not going to do everything right. I’m at least trying to be deliberate in what of my natural behaviors I push on to her, or I encourage or don’t encourage within her.

One of the things that you really helped me see is that I get self-worth by being productive in any given moment, so trying to make sure that at some point I instill a good work ethic in Addie.

The ability to choose and find her self-worth from the right places, from her spirituality and other things, not just from what she thinks other people want to see.”

For anyone who’s out there, there’s a lot of people listening, business owners, leaders, individuals, stay at home moms, that have not gotten around to doing LifePlan. “I’ll get it. I need to, yeah, I need to do that. Ah, I’ll get to it.”

That is one of the things that we hear a lot is people saying, “You know, I know I’ve needed to do this for 2 years.” What would you say to them about getting in?

“My dad has been through LifePlan, my brother. I have been through LifePlan. It changes generations. It’s going to change Addie. She’s going to have more awareness for her children, or the people that are close to her in her life. It has a long lasting impact. I would never have realized these.

There’s just nothing else in my life I ever would have encountered that would’ve helped me see that. To have that big of an impact, is pretty amazing. That’s where some people do have a lot of anxiety, or concern about the experience, about the 2 days that LifePlan is.

I just try to really look at the big picture, 2 days of discomfort, I’ll say, is worth a lifetime of better choices, and better understanding, and better decisions. For me, it’s a no brainer to invest the time, and the money, and the effort, and the discomfort to come out on the other side so different and so aware. It’s amazing.”

Last question. If you could go back to a young Brent Van Haren, what would you tell him?

“I made a lot of decisions when I was young for other people. Still working on that today. I wouldn’t change any of the trajectory of my life because of my amazing wife and daughter.

There are plenty of decisions that I look back on and don’t understand myself. There are just a lot of things that I would’ve changed about me and my need to please others rather than just a passion that isn’t a need to make others happy. A lot stems from that for me.”

That’s one of the best things that you can learn coming through LifePlan, is that the thing that you’ve done that unfortunately you got self-worth from remains the thing that you get to do most likely. It’s from a completely different direction, different purpose.

QUESTION: What is holding you back from LifePlan?

 

Chris LoCurto

By

September 8, 2015

Will You Miss Out Or Finish Strong?

September 8, 2015 | By | One Comment">One Comment

Will You Miss Out Or Finish Strong “Oh my gosh, Christmas is actually not that far away.” We are now getting close to the fourth quarter. We’re getting close to the fourth quarter of the year. Kids are back in school, people have finished their summer vacations, and while we want to get our brains plugged back in, we don’t think about what’s about to come our way. It is the holiday season.

We’ve got a goals worksheet so it is going to be based on all the things that we’re talking about today so you can take a look at this and say what do I need to focus on? What areas do I need to set goals for?

finish strong goal setting worksheet

We’re going to be talking about that today from the aspect of the wheel of life. What things do you need to be doing? What areas do you need to be covering? The physical, the career, the financial goals, the family, the spiritual, the intellectual, all of these things that we need to be focusing on to make sure that we don’t let this quarter throw us off track.

PHYSICAL

LIMIT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE

Make sure that you actually have a plan on how you’re not going to spend everyday shoving a ton of junk in your body. This is the time that everyone crashes. I’m just going to say three little words pumpkin spice latte!

There’s a ton of shopping that’s goes on. Then there’s parties that we go to which are going to have a ton of junk as well. There’s a lot of running around that happens that tends to cause us to stop eating healthy. We really have to think through the things that we’re putting in our body.

Here’s the deal, sugar is in my world legalized cocaine. It is terrible for you! In fact, they’ve done studies where they have taken cocaine addicted rats and given them the option of cocaine or sugar. Guess which one they chose?

The sugar every single time! They have taken scans of your brain when you put sugar in your body. It does the same exact thing. It has the same response as cocaine. The reward receptors in your brain respond, “This is really, really good. Do more of this.”

GET OUTSIDE

The days are getting shorter so we’re going to be spending less time outside. You’ve got to be getting outside even if only for ten minutes a day. Make sure that you do this so that you get some vitamin D in your body thus decreases your chance of getting sick.

EXERCISE

I’m not going to tell you that you need to go ballistic with this. In fact, all I want you to do is think about being active at least 30 minutes a day. you release dopamine and endorphins in your brain. These are the happy drugs. These are the things that you want going on in your brain, not the sugar junk.

These are the things that make you happy; this helps you to have emotional well-being. This supports your brain and your nervous system.

Here are some things that you can do to just be active for 30 minutes. I would love it if you are doing burst training by the way. If you’re doing that, that would be great. That’s probably the best thing you could possibly do. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you’re going grocery shopping, carry the groceries out if you can instead of using the cart. If your kids are playing soccer then walk around the field. Climb the bleachers, dance in your kitchen. I don’t care. Do it while you’re making dinner. I may have been known to dance in my kitchen quite often by myself but hey at least I’m doing it and I’m getting some exercise.

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

Make sure that you have a plan to get some sleep. This is the crazy time of year and unfortunately we keep jacking up our sleep while we’re going to parties, and going shopping late, and doing all this stuff, and drinking coffee late in the afternoon. Make sure that you’re actually getting enough sleep.

Stop your electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Pick up a book and read, that will help you on your intellectual goals. If you’re reading the word then that will help you on your spiritual goals. But stop, stop all the electronics. Pick something up, read.

CAREER

NEXT-LEVEL THINKING

For me, I am a very growth minded kind of guy. I truly believe that the most successful businesses are growth minded as well. Ask yourself the following questions. Make sure that you’re writing down those steps and What it’s going to take to get there.

ASK YOURSELF THE QUESTION

  • With the remainder of this year, what is it that would take me to the next level?
  • Where do it see myself by the end of the year?
  • Are there things that I can do to get myself to the next level?
  • Are there things that are holding me back? What are those?
  • What are those things that you could be doing right now to enhance, to grow, to push you along?

FINANCIAL

BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!

Folks, we have a few months left before Christmas destroys your checkbook and you know it’s going to happen if you’ve not been planning. Be sure that you’re budgeting.

Make sure if you’re married, that you’re talking to your spouse about the things to expect. What’s coming up? Look at the remainder of the year and ask yourself the question. What things do we need to save for?

Whatever that is, make sure that you’re putting this in your budget. Make sure that you’re walking through your financial goals and your financial plan so that you don’t get jacked up along the way. Because way too many people do that and unfortunately they jump in the next year and they are already behind.

What things do you need to be budgeting for? What things do you need to plan for? How much money are you going to spend at Christmas? How much money are you going to spend at Thanksgiving when you go see family? Whatever it is, make sure that you’re asking yourself those questions when it comes to budgets.

FAMILY

SCHEDULE YOUR TIME

Now that kids are back to school, what is the balance and structure of your life look like? It gets a little bit more hectic. Make sure that you’re scheduling your time wisely so you’re not missing things or having to run to things or getting frustrated because everything is stacked on top of each other. Make sure that you’re bringing balance and structure for you, for your spouse, and for your kids.

RESET EXPECTATIONS

Make sure that you’re talking with your spouse and finding out what things are happening, what are you going to do, what am I going to do, how do we make sure that everything meshes so everybody is happy.

Remember, when it comes to family, this time of year is crazy commercialized. Make sure that you’re resetting the expectations of your kids. This is a great time for you to be leading them and understanding what’s going on.

Understanding what this time is really about. What each holiday is really about as opposed to all the pumpkin spice lattes and the toy aisles and all that junk. Make sure that you’re spending time resetting expectations of them so that you’re not getting entitled children.

QUALITY TIME

Make sure that you’re spending quality time together. Turn off the TV and the electronics. Have dinners together. Have conversations together. Have them put their cellphones down or put them away so that you can actually have quality conversations and can do things.

What are you going to do? List those things out. Look up a ton of activities that you guys can do together and then put them on the calendar. If you want to have board game nights, then put them on the calendar. You can even think of conversation nights. Things that we want to talk about. List those out. Once a week put them on the calendar but understand that the electronics have got to go away.

EXTENDED FAMILY BOUNDARIES

I want you to think through and process through this time of year. What happens this time of year so that you can think through what healthy boundaries are needed. List them out. If you’ve got the same uncle who treats you like crap at Christmas time or Thanksgiving or if your parents always treat you horribly during that time, think through it. Process through it.

List out what healthy boundaries are needed. What do you need to put in place? If the problem is that you spend too much time at some places well maybe limit your time. Maybe don’t sit there and get beat up for a whole week, instead drop your time down.

Get the accountability if it’s all possible. Get somebody who understands what you’re going through. Find somebody that you can trust,  so that you can walk through this season and not be completely stressed out.

Do these things so that you can be happy, so that you can be healthy and so that you can get further along. Don’t allow this end of the year to stress you out. If you will do all of these things it will radically change what is the normal fourth quarter of the year for you, the end of the year.

QUESTION: How are you going to end this year strong?

Click here to download today’s show notes.

Chris LoCurto

By

September 1, 2015

How To Worry No More with Bruce Van Horn

September 1, 2015 | By | 6 Comments">6 Comments

worry no more podcast graphic

Joining us on the show today, we have Bruce Van Horn, who is just a phenomenal, phenomenal guy. Bruce and I go back a ways. I’ve got to tell you that one of the things I love about Bruce is just his incredible happiness and positivity.

He has written the book, Worry No More, which is The 4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and as a gift to our listeners and readers, he is giving away the first 4 chapters to the book!

worrynomoreThe opening of the book is a dedication to his boys. It reads:

“Because you deserve the best of me that I seek to become the fullest expression of who I was created to be. I love you, Dad.”

Bruce has had lots and lots of cause to worry in his life. February 17th of 2014, 9:22 in the morning, he put his youngest on school bus and had just started to eat breakfast.

“I was expecting my doctor to call me with the biopsy results, but he assured me that everything was just going to be fine. The phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and in that instant; I knew exactly what he was going to tell me.

I knew that eating breakfast that morning was going to be the last normal thing I would do for a very long time. Sure enough he called and he said, “Bruce, I just have no idea how to tell you this. It all came back bad. You’ve got stage 4 prostate cancer.” Then the wheels just start rolling and life didn’t assume normalcy for a long time after that”.

I’ll never forget the day that Bruce texted me. He had just found out. Knowing what he went through, the terrible pain and process that he had to go through, and yet his faith remained so very strong. His story is powerful and encouraging, so let’s dive in to some of the questions that I asked him.

WHAT IS WORRY?

Worry is using your imagination to create images of what you do not want to see, and/or events that you do not want to occur. It becomes paralyzing. It is like watching a movie. You’re creating, scripting, directing, and casting a movie in which you’re a victim.

WHEN DOES WORRY BECOME YOUR DOMINANT THOUGHT PROCESS? 

There are so many things we worry about that we have absolutely no control over. There are certain things though that we worry about that we do have control over.

Stressing over it keeps you focused on the negative outcome and it paralyzes you from taking the action that you can take.

When you freak, you freeze and your brain stops functioning. You stop thinking about reality. You stop thinking about what are my options. You stop thinking of ways to get out of it

WHAT IS E + R = O?

There’s the event. Usually, we have no control over the event. We’re stuck in traffic. The outcome is going to be when I ultimately do get to work. Am I going to be all stressed out and angry or am I going to be happy and peaceful?

The difference between stuck in traffic and what happens at work is my response to it, the story that I tell myself. I had been telling myself a story in which I was a victim which left me powerless.

When I learned that I was not only capable of crafting a response, a story that I tell myself but that the response is 100 percent my responsibility not anybody else’s, WOW, empowering!

I can’t point the finger anywhere other than at me. That’s E + R = O.

Step 1: WATCH A DIFFERENT MOVIE

Step one is literally watch a different movie. Many of us just live our lives unaware that we can indeed control our thoughts.

You have that 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and researchers have discovered that approximately 75 percent of those are negative.

Step 2: MOVE TO A DIFFERENT STATE

Packing up our belongings and moving a couple hundred miles away might remove us from the source of what we think is some of our worry. That’s not the moving to a different state that I mean. I’m talking about physical and mental state management.

Our bodies have control over our emotions. When we’re happy, our bodies move in a certain way. We are expansive. We take up more space.

If you will move your body the way you would be moving your body, if you were happy, amazingly, you start to become happy.

Step 3: GIVE YOURSELF THE PRESENT

When we’re worried, we are thinking about the future. When we’re thinking about the future, we are not living in the present.

The only thing that is absolutely guaranteed in this life is that God only gives us right now, this very second. The only time in which you have any power to do anything about the future is right now.

Practicing mindfulness. Living in the moment. Catching yourself thinking about the future and reminding yourself.

This is why scripture says, “Tomorrow has enough worries of its own.” Live today.

Step 4: REST IN P’S

The P’s are perspective, plan, purpose, perfection, and peace. Ultimately, if we can understand that the life that we are experiencing right now we are only able to experience within our own thought process, then we can realize that there may be another perspective, another way.

This idea of perspective and the fact that our lives follow a plan and that plan has a purpose. There’s meaning to the things that happened in our lives.

I don’t believe there any coincidences because if things can happen randomly and outside of God’s control, then that leaves God being pretty weak. Where does omnipotent go?

Trusting that there is a plan and that there’s a purpose and that the creator of this plan and purpose is perfect means whatever is happening in your life is perfect. It doesn’t mean it’s pleasant.

If you can wrap your brain around perspective, plan, purpose and perfection, it can’t help but bring peace into your life and that’s ultimately what we want from our worry is peace.

Conclusion:

We live in this paradox and trying to find peace in that paradox. We are 100 percent responsible for our lives as far as the decisions we make, the thoughts we think, and the way we respond to certain event in our lives.

We do not usually get to choose the path we get to walk down, but we get to choose how we walk it.

The concept of “it’s your imagination”, we don’t go there. We don’t think, I’m imagining something that has not happened yet. I’m imagining something that could be negative that I don’t want to see in the future; worry equals imagination.

Again, click the link below to get the first 4 chapters of the book “Worry No More”.

worrynomore

Question: What things are you imagining that are causing you to worry?

Click here to download the transcript.