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Chris LoCurto

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September 15, 2015

Life After LifePlan – Success Stories Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What other things were profound for you in the process?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made it safe for you not to do that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTION: What is holding you back from LifePlan?

 

Chris LoCurto

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September 8, 2015

Will You Miss Out Or Finish Strong?

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

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

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

finish strong goal setting worksheet

We’re going to be talking about that today from the aspect of the wheel of life. What things do you need to be doing? What areas do you need to be covering? The physical, the career, the financial goals, the family, the spiritual, the intellectual, all of these things that we need to be focusing on to make sure that we don’t let this quarter throw us off track.

PHYSICAL

LIMIT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE

Make sure that you actually have a plan on how you’re not going to spend everyday shoving a ton of junk in your body. This is the time that everyone crashes. I’m just going to say three little words pumpkin spice latte!

There’s a ton of shopping that’s goes on. Then there’s parties that we go to which are going to have a ton of junk as well. There’s a lot of running around that happens that tends to cause us to stop eating healthy. We really have to think through the things that we’re putting in our body.

Here’s the deal, sugar is in my world legalized cocaine. It is terrible for you! In fact, they’ve done studies where they have taken cocaine addicted rats and given them the option of cocaine or sugar. Guess which one they chose?

The sugar every single time! They have taken scans of your brain when you put sugar in your body. It does the same exact thing. It has the same response as cocaine. The reward receptors in your brain respond, “This is really, really good. Do more of this.”

GET OUTSIDE

The days are getting shorter so we’re going to be spending less time outside. You’ve got to be getting outside even if only for ten minutes a day. Make sure that you do this so that you get some vitamin D in your body thus decreases your chance of getting sick.

EXERCISE

I’m not going to tell you that you need to go ballistic with this. In fact, all I want you to do is think about being active at least 30 minutes a day. you release dopamine and endorphins in your brain. These are the happy drugs. These are the things that you want going on in your brain, not the sugar junk.

These are the things that make you happy; this helps you to have emotional well-being. This supports your brain and your nervous system.

Here are some things that you can do to just be active for 30 minutes. I would love it if you are doing burst training by the way. If you’re doing that, that would be great. That’s probably the best thing you could possibly do. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you’re going grocery shopping, carry the groceries out if you can instead of using the cart. If your kids are playing soccer then walk around the field. Climb the bleachers, dance in your kitchen. I don’t care. Do it while you’re making dinner. I may have been known to dance in my kitchen quite often by myself but hey at least I’m doing it and I’m getting some exercise.

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

Make sure that you have a plan to get some sleep. This is the crazy time of year and unfortunately we keep jacking up our sleep while we’re going to parties, and going shopping late, and doing all this stuff, and drinking coffee late in the afternoon. Make sure that you’re actually getting enough sleep.

Stop your electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Pick up a book and read, that will help you on your intellectual goals. If you’re reading the word then that will help you on your spiritual goals. But stop, stop all the electronics. Pick something up, read.

CAREER

NEXT-LEVEL THINKING

For me, I am a very growth minded kind of guy. I truly believe that the most successful businesses are growth minded as well. Ask yourself the following questions. Make sure that you’re writing down those steps and What it’s going to take to get there.

ASK YOURSELF THE QUESTION

  • With the remainder of this year, what is it that would take me to the next level?
  • Where do it see myself by the end of the year?
  • Are there things that I can do to get myself to the next level?
  • Are there things that are holding me back? What are those?
  • What are those things that you could be doing right now to enhance, to grow, to push you along?

FINANCIAL

BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!

Folks, we have a few months left before Christmas destroys your checkbook and you know it’s going to happen if you’ve not been planning. Be sure that you’re budgeting.

Make sure if you’re married, that you’re talking to your spouse about the things to expect. What’s coming up? Look at the remainder of the year and ask yourself the question. What things do we need to save for?

Whatever that is, make sure that you’re putting this in your budget. Make sure that you’re walking through your financial goals and your financial plan so that you don’t get jacked up along the way. Because way too many people do that and unfortunately they jump in the next year and they are already behind.

What things do you need to be budgeting for? What things do you need to plan for? How much money are you going to spend at Christmas? How much money are you going to spend at Thanksgiving when you go see family? Whatever it is, make sure that you’re asking yourself those questions when it comes to budgets.

FAMILY

SCHEDULE YOUR TIME

Now that kids are back to school, what is the balance and structure of your life look like? It gets a little bit more hectic. Make sure that you’re scheduling your time wisely so you’re not missing things or having to run to things or getting frustrated because everything is stacked on top of each other. Make sure that you’re bringing balance and structure for you, for your spouse, and for your kids.

RESET EXPECTATIONS

Make sure that you’re talking with your spouse and finding out what things are happening, what are you going to do, what am I going to do, how do we make sure that everything meshes so everybody is happy.

Remember, when it comes to family, this time of year is crazy commercialized. Make sure that you’re resetting the expectations of your kids. This is a great time for you to be leading them and understanding what’s going on.

Understanding what this time is really about. What each holiday is really about as opposed to all the pumpkin spice lattes and the toy aisles and all that junk. Make sure that you’re spending time resetting expectations of them so that you’re not getting entitled children.

QUALITY TIME

Make sure that you’re spending quality time together. Turn off the TV and the electronics. Have dinners together. Have conversations together. Have them put their cellphones down or put them away so that you can actually have quality conversations and can do things.

What are you going to do? List those things out. Look up a ton of activities that you guys can do together and then put them on the calendar. If you want to have board game nights, then put them on the calendar. You can even think of conversation nights. Things that we want to talk about. List those out. Once a week put them on the calendar but understand that the electronics have got to go away.

EXTENDED FAMILY BOUNDARIES

I want you to think through and process through this time of year. What happens this time of year so that you can think through what healthy boundaries are needed. List them out. If you’ve got the same uncle who treats you like crap at Christmas time or Thanksgiving or if your parents always treat you horribly during that time, think through it. Process through it.

List out what healthy boundaries are needed. What do you need to put in place? If the problem is that you spend too much time at some places well maybe limit your time. Maybe don’t sit there and get beat up for a whole week, instead drop your time down.

Get the accountability if it’s all possible. Get somebody who understands what you’re going through. Find somebody that you can trust,  so that you can walk through this season and not be completely stressed out.

Do these things so that you can be happy, so that you can be healthy and so that you can get further along. Don’t allow this end of the year to stress you out. If you will do all of these things it will radically change what is the normal fourth quarter of the year for you, the end of the year.

QUESTION: How are you going to end this year strong?

Click here to download today’s show notes.

Chris LoCurto

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August 19, 2014

Parents, Kids, Conflict…OH MY [Podcast]

August 19, 2014 | By | 3 Comments">3 Comments

We are talking about conflict in the family on todays show. More specifically – How do I get my children to get along?

We naturally think ” my kids should just get along.” But we have to remember that with kids it’s no different than the people you work with.

The reason why kids (or anybody else) are in conflict is because they don’t understand each other.

Translating that into business and for your team, when we have two people that are in conflict, almost every time it comes down to the simplicity of not understanding each others personality styles.

So first off, you have to know what personality style your kids are. You do know what your kids personality styles are…don’t you?

Next you have to explain to the kids what the other siblings personality styles are. Explain to them what matters most to each sibling, why that’s important to them, where they struggle, etc.

When you do that you change the communication inside the family.

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Question: So…pop quiz – What personality styles do you have in your family?

 

 

Chris LoCurto

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August 15, 2013

How To Balance Work, Life, and Family

August 15, 2013 | By | 43 Comments">43 Comments

Today’s question comes in from an incredible entrepreneur I met over a year ago while teaching an EntreLeadership event. Tanyalynnette Palmo is the Creative Founder of RoadTrip 2013, the CIO of GreenWave Technology Corp, the CEO & Founder of Allaxoun & a blogger at everydaywindshield.com. This busy business woman, wife, and mother asks:

TL-Quote

TL, I hope my answer helps & I look forward to speaking at the RoadTrip 2013 event in October! Be sure to check out the event + get the #CLoTribe discount code on the left —>

For more information on living a balanced life, check out my most popular all time post – Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life

Question: How do you find fulfillment at home & at work?