Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


Chris LoCurto


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.


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


November 3, 2015

How To Attract Customers

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


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!


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


Chris LoCurto


October 27, 2015

High Levels of Quality Communication

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


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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


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.



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


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.


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 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?


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 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,, 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


September 29, 2015

5 Essential Leadership Questions

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


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


September 22, 2015

The Power To Grow

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


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.


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


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.



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.”


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.


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.


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.



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.


  • 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?



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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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”.


Question: What things are you imagining that are causing you to worry?

Click here to download the transcript.

Chris LoCurto


August 24, 2015

Busting The Poverty Mindset

August 24, 2015 | By | 12 Comments">12 Comments

Flipping through my Facebook feed, I saw a video of somebody talking about how poor people are kept poor, are held down and forced to remain poor. This frustrated me because my story is one of growing up not having money.

I’ll share my personal story, what it takes to bust out of poverty, and help you see if this mindset is effecting your workplace. Plus my top 10 books to a wealth mindset.

As soon as I could swing an ax, I was chopping wood. We’d go out into the forest in Lake Tahoe. The forestry division would have certain trees that were dying marked. We’d go and drop those trees, buck them, and cut them into huge rounds. We would bring them home and split them by hand so that we could sell the firewood, and have firewood for ourselves.

At 14, I was working in a restaurant so that we could have money. Later on, I worked at North American Van Lines moving people. I was a cook, and at one point, I remember getting up at 2:00 in the morning to go work at UPS loading trucks, and then go to work at my full-time job. I would finish that, and then go to night classes so I could try and figure out how to make more money.

Folks, I did not come from wealth. I was on the ground floor of E*Trade. There was a time I was working 50 hours of overtime a week!! I was busting it, loving it, and getting a paycheck that reflected that. I’ve been busting it.

When I came on at Dave’s, Dave offered me an opportunity. If you are willing to come and bust it for me, I will share with you.

I’ve got to tell you, those early days, there wasn’t a whole lot of money. I took a decent pay cut to go and grab a hold of an opportunity. If I could make it happen, if I was willing to bust it like crazy, if I was willing to work my tail off, then I had an opportunity in front of me.

I can tell you, I worked every single day until about nine or 10:00 at night. I worked Saturdays. I worked Sunday afternoons. I worked like crazy. I had to actually get out there, and put some things in place.

I didn’t even know that there was a system to hold people down. Why? Because there’s not a system to hold people down. What I learned was if I would go ballistic, then I could make money.

In fact, if you go back and look over all of the jobs I just talked about, every bit of my life has been serving people and busting my tail so that I could get to a place where I didn’t have to worry about money. A place that I don’t have to ever think about a poor mindset. That’s not a place I ever want to be again.

We found so many businesses and leaders that have been struggling with this. I want to help you get to a place of leading your team members, maybe even helping yourself. Maybe this is you if you are a leader or struggling with this.

So let’s BUST this myth:


Let them know that there is an opportunity for them to absolutely hustle and win with money. You have to show them, and be willing to pay someone who does. You’ve got to start there. What are you willing to give to them if they will go bust it? Bring money in, I’ll share it with you, period! That’s it.


Are they just in an administrative role, or are they supporting an area that is creating more revenue? They are actually part of that process. How do you share with them? Obviously, pay them a great salary, but could you give them part of profit sharing? What do you do? You have think through and allow them to see that they have an opportunity as well.

Personality styles side note, understand that if they are a high C or a high S, usually, money is not their greatest motivator. Having consistent money is really important to them, and having you come along and tell them that they’re doing a great job is an important part of it as well.

There are a lot of people that still have C and D or S and I that might be in a role that you can show them, “Hey, here’s still greater opportunity, and also, I’m willing to pay you profit sharing.” For folks that aren’t money-motivated by commission, they will be very happy to see profits in their paycheck, I can promise you that!


My team is well aware that I am willing to spend money on them becoming better. I will pay for it. I will spend money on my team members to become better so that they can make even more money. I’m all about that.


Like I said, almost every single job that I have ever had in some way, shape, or form served people. It took care of people. It helped people. Serve people. Help them to get what they need, you will never worry about having enough, period.

As we talked with Rabbi Lapin, you have to become obsessively preoccupied with the needs of others. As you serve well, and do well, money comes your way. People want to pay to have their lives changed, to have their businesses changed. That’s common sense.  We don’t have to seek the money. Instead, we serve people. They take care of us in the process.

When you discover this key to wealth, when you discover this key of serving, working hard, busting it, hustling, and taking care of people, you tend to do it more.

You realize that it’s very difficult to feel entitled when you’re taking care of other people. When you are helping other people get their needs met, it’s really difficult for you to go, “I need my handout.”

There are champions out there who want it. They want the opportunity!

Do those things and you will have a team that’s focused on serving. You will have a team that’s focused on gaining wealth. You will have a team that is focused on growing your business.

It is all about changing your mindset, not only yours but that of your teams. If you can have a team that has this kind of mindset, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.

I have list of books that I have read and used in the past that have helped me to keep my mindset focused on growth, on growing me, on growing my business, on growing my wealth, on not having a poor mindset, not having an entitled mindset. Books that helped me to get to a place of constantly knowing what to do next, how to go forward, and how to focus on serving God’s kids. Click the link below to get the free download.

Did you enjoy the post? How have you kept from having a poverty mindset?

Click here to download the transcript.

Chris LoCurto


August 18, 2015

Savannah Flynn on Social Media Marketing

August 18, 2015 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments


Savannah Flynn on Social Media Marketing

Did  you know that Facebook has 1.5 billion people actively on it? There are already 30 million business pages on Facebook. Is yours one of them? Did you know that it has the most evenly distributed demographic?  Which means you’re going to find almost as many 50-year olds on Facebook as you are 20-year olds.

Social media is networking online!  So what if your business could get .1% of those people interested in what you are doing, you have increased your reach in your customer base by a thousand times!!

Today, on the show, we are talking all about social media. We walk through the importance of social media in your business, how to use it, and why you should be using it. PLUS, get Savannah’s SOCIAL MEDIA SWIPE FILE! It is a “power” tool FULL of proven tips and tricks that we use here in our business right at your fingertips!

Some Questions I Asked:

  • Why is an editorial calendar important?
  • What should be posted on a business platform?  
  • What is an avatar, and why do businesses need to know what their avatar is?
  • Can you explain vanity numbers?
  • How do you know what your demographic is?
  • What is a swipe file and how do you use it?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How to discover who your avatar is.
  • How to build loyalty through engagement on social media
  • What native posting is and how is applies to different social platforms
  • The importance of having a strategy for each platform
  • How to measure your engagement on each platform
  • Tools, Tips & tricks that we use
  • PLUS, so much more good stuff!!!

Links mentioned in this episode:

 Did you enjoy the podcast?

We barely scraped the surface of all the ways to market using social media. In what ways are you using social media? Comment below and share, it helps others to grow.

Click here to download the transcript.

Chris LoCurto


August 11, 2015

Business Secrets from the Bible with Rabbi Daniel Lapin

August 11, 2015 | By | 9 Comments">9 Comments



Nearly every year 100 Jewish people are included in the Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans.  By demographic proportion, there shouldn’t be more than 8 or 9.

How are they consistently wealthier than the rest of the population? That is exactly what we discuss on today’s episode!

For those of you that have been with me for a long time, you’ve heard the interviews that I’ve had with Rabbi. He’s just not only one of my favorite people to interview, but also a huge influence in my life.

And while there is SO much information that we discussed, I actually had to delete a bunch of questions to not make the show a week long!! There are 40 secrets in the book and we hit on some crazy powerful life changing information! 

Some Questions I Asked:

  • How does secret #1 give businesses such an incredible advantage?
  • What is the power of specialization and exchange? 
  • How much greater advantage do businesses have by becoming interdependent on people?
  • Why is it that we don’t treat the person that signs our paycheck the same way we treat the customers of the business?
  • Can you explain to us God’s offering to us?
  • Why is the community aspect so powerful in the Jewish community?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The strategies, tips, tools, and techniques derived from ancient Jewish wisdom
  • Why secret number #1 is a mantra in our office
  • How Bill Gates faired against Mother Teresa
  • The power of specialization and exchange
  • How connecting with other people is vital to your business
  • The potential dangers for subjectivity
  • How money is a certificate of good performance
  • Plus much more… 

Did you enjoy the podcast?

Rabbi Lapin is phenomenal. His book Business Secrets From The Bible is a powerful, powerful book. I loved his analogy of a rental car. What are your thoughts on this analogy?

Click here to download the transcript.

Chris LoCurto


August 4, 2015

18 Habits of Mentally Strong People

August 4, 2015 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

18 habits of mentally strong people


Have you ever noticed that highly successful people have a distinct mindset? Do you wonder what they do to stay mentally strong?

On today’s show, I unpack 18 Habits of Mentally Strong People. The stuff that so many people avoid doing, or have no clue that they should be doing them.

There are so many nuggets of wisdom in this podcast that we have created a FREE DOWNLOAD for you containing ALL 18 habits! (CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO RECEIVE)

Links mentioned in this episode:


Click Here to Download

Chris LoCurto


July 28, 2015

Stephen Scoggins on The Journey Principles

July 28, 2015 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments

Stephen Scoggins The Journey Principles Book

Stephen Scoggins is joining us on the show today. Stephen is a successful entrepreneur, a speaker, and the author of the book The Journey Principles (10 Simple Principles for a Life Journey That Matters).

On the show he shares how he built a multi-million dollar business, and yet his spirit was broken. Money and success didn’t bring him happiness. Instead, he had to find out what was holding him back.

He talks about being minutes from the business going down the toilet, and then being led to having a discussion with yours truly. That conversation we had many years ago began his Journey which led him to today and his new book, which he uses to reach out to others in life changing ways!

Along this journey we’ve become great friends, and we both absostinkinlutely give God the glory that He chose that day for us to connect.

So let’s dive in to the Journey Principles!

Question: How have you ever been impacted by a “chance” meeting?

Chris LoCurto


July 21, 2015

Breaking Bad Myths


In day-to-day life it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing a myth or a lie about yourself.

Broken belief systems can cripple you if you don’t watch out. On the show today I wanted to focus on 8 core myths that I see often during our LifePlan events.

Now these 8 lies are not the only myths there are! There’s a ton more we didn’t have time for.
But I wanted to dive into these 8 and unpack them for you so you can be on guard against these myths creeping into your life.

Here’s a preview of what we cover on the episode:

  • Is other peoples happiness more important than yours?
  • Why happiness isn’t the end game
  • Codependency and self sabotage
  • Can you truly earn someone’s love?
  • Why “building walls” is killing your relationships
  • Is all conflict bad?
  • Unless it’s easy…it’s wrong!
  • Do you really have to be right?
Chris LoCurto


July 16, 2015

82% of Customers Leave Because of This

July 16, 2015 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments


How well do you know your customers? Do you know what they want and need from you as a company? On today’s podcast, we are going to talk about how to better know and serve your customer base.

What we will cover:

  • How to gain perspective
  • Common mistakes that are made about your customers
  • How to gain great information from your customers
  • Why we want your opinion (Take 90 seconds and fill out the survey below)

Knowing your customers and their needs is vital for the direction and vision of a successful business. 82% of customers have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer experience. (…and come to find out it’s actually 89% * based on a survey commissioned by RightNow and conducted by Harris Interactive.)

Don’t forget to take our survey!


Chris LoCurto


July 14, 2015

7 Questions To Ask Before Launching A Business

July 14, 2015 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments


Are you thinking about launching a new start up?
Maybe you recently launched a new business and are still in the early phases.

Todays show will help you ask 7 fundamental questions of your new venture so you can set yourself up for success. (These questions even apply to new product lines.)

We’ve all heard the scary stat for small business failure. Quite a few never make it past year one.
In the early stages of your business it’s crucial for you to have answers to these 7 questions.


Question: Are you thinking about starting a business this year? 

Chris LoCurto


July 9, 2015

7 Reasons Successful People Have Mentors


Successful people have mentors. Why?
Because mentors are one of the best ways to fast track your success and performance.

That’s the reason I have mentors in every area of my life.

If I can learn from the wisdom of someone who’s “been there”…I literally can shave years off the learning curve.

You’ve heard me talk about my racing coach and how he coached me to setting a track record.
I did mention I set a track record…right?
Well, it would have taken a lot longer to reach that goal had he not been coaching me.

Now you don’t have to have a mentor…
You can keep doing life without one but when you’re limited to just “your” knowledge, you are extremely limited with your options.

Successful people understand the value of input.Successful leaders understand that one persons experience is another persons revelation.

They understand that the best thing is not always the right thing.
And they don’t have to be the head of the class.

You see, NO ONE reaches success alone. And successful leaders know this.

Question: Who was your first mentor?

Chris LoCurto


July 7, 2015

How To Define Your Core Values

core values

Today we’re talking about how to define your core values.
Now I’m sure for some of you you’re thinking of “corporate core values”.

Well… that’s not what we’re talking about today.

We’re talking about your personal core values, your personal culture.

Let me start off by defining what core values are.
These are the things that you value so much that you filter your life through them. These are things that are so important to you, that are such a high value to you, that you should be filtering your life through them.
You should be making decisions based off of them.
This seems like a no-brainer, but the problem is when we don’t understand what our core values really are and we end up filtering life through things  that are not healthy.

Here’s some of the benefits of listening to the show today:

  • Why you should have personal core values
  • How to have guard rails for your life
  • The difference between healthy and unhealthy values
  • How to have more directions and energy in your life
  • How your values are vital in making decisions every day
  • Your decision-making process
  • What your leadership has to do with values
  • Why God should be your number one value
  • How to come up with your core values
  • How to filter your life through your values


Question: What’s your top core value? Why?

Chris LoCurto


June 30, 2015

Walking with God Through the Storm

June 30, 2015 | By | 6 Comments">6 Comments


In November of 2010, Michele Cushatt’s world was turned upside down.

She was 39 years old, had three boys, and on a Tuesday morning right before Thanksgiving her doctor told her she had a very rare kind of cancer.

She said, “The word cancer dropped into my life like a bomb…Everything changed after that point. The only thing I could think to do in that moment was run to my knees…and that’s where I found myself.”

Today’s interview with Michele is powerful. She is amazing!

Here’s a few of the things we cover on the show:

• How to deal with devastating news
• Learning to walk with God in tragedy
• What having faith really looks like
• Coming face to face with your beliefs
• Dealing with misguided expectations
• Discerning God’s presence
• What to do when a piece of your story doesn’t go according to plan
• How to cope with fear and uncertainty
• A healthy perspective on perfection
• The tragedy of poor work/life balance
• Loving the dark parts of your story
• How to plan life and business when plans fail
• Finding value in yourself
• Determining healthy motivation and drive

If you are going through a storm right now be encouraged. God has not abandoned you.

In fact he is more near to you now than ever before.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Michele: 

“What we believe about God in those moments [when our story doesn’t go according to plan] ends up dictating what the future looks like.”

“I can choose to be very bitter and angry and be a victim…or I can choose to weave it into my story [and find the good.]”

“It’s so easy to get caught in the temporal, and miss out on the things that truly last and matter.”

“All of our attempts to be so polished all the time are actually minimizing our opportunities for connection with others.”

“We think it’s all about being polished and perfect but there’s no one out there that can really connect with someone who is perfect”

“…believe in what you have to say, that’s what being really successful looks like.”

“It’s not all about crossing off my to-do list, sometimes there’s a more worthy pursuit”

“I don’t have to work 70 hours a week to be worthy of my skin.”

“It’s only in the struggle that we develop perseverance and endurance.”

“we get caught up into thinking the world is dependent on us.”

“You can do everything right, and everything can change in a moment.”

“Is a 70 hour work week really the notch in your belt you want to leave behind? Is having 20,000 twitter followers really the legacy you want to leave?”

“We are so desperate to make an impression and to leave a mark on this world and yet the ways we’re going about it seem so contrary to what we say really matters.”

You can find out more about Michele by visiting her site:

You’ll also want to read her book:  Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life.
I read it and was incredible moved by Michele’s transparency and her perspective on life.