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Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Eradicating Comparison with Rachel Cruze – Episode 161 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter who has been speaking to groups as large as 10,000 for nearly a decade. The daughter of Dave Ramsey, today she uses the knowledge and experiences from growing up in the Ramsey household to educate America’s students and young adults on the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. Rachel is a regularly featured in all genres of national and local media across the country. You can pre-order her newest book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, at

Show Highlights:

  • Social media has made it easier than ever to compare our lives to others. @rachelcruze
  • Comparing ourselves to others is the most damaging money habit we have. @rachelcruze
  • Comparisons not only steals your joy, but your paycheck. @rachelcruze
  • You end up spending too much money to keep up a lifestyle that you think everyone else is living and you’re missing out on. @rachelcruze
  • Social media isn’t all reality – it’s someone else’s highlight reel. @rachelcruze
  • Comparison is a battle no one ever wins. @rachelcruze
  • If you’re going to live without debt and with less stress and worry, you must form healthy money habits. @rachelcruze
  • Either you have to take control of your money, or your money takes control of you. @rachelcruze
  • The purpose of a budget is not to limit your freedom, but to give you freedom. @rachelcruze
  • It’s never too early or too late to do better with your money. @rachelcruze
  • 5 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:
    1. Limit your intake – of materialism.
    2. Practice Daily Gratitude
    3. Be Debt Free
    4. Focus on Giving
    5. Monitor Investable Income

To pre-order your own copy of Rachel’s book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, visit!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

All You Need to Know About Leadership


The idea of leadership can be intimidating.

But leadership is simple.

To lead is to care.

Leadership is learning to elevate the needs of others to be equal to or above your own.

Leadership then is not a title.

Leadership is not a position.

Leadership is not a crown.

Leadership instead, is a condition of your heart.

It’s a heart that wants to look after others.

It’s a heart that seeks to protect others.

It’s a heart that desires to provide for others.

Leadership is difficult.

But it’s not the act of leading that is that difficult.

It’s the change of focus that’s difficult.

It’s the increase in selflessness that’s challenging.

It’s the worrying less about yourself and more about others that takes intention.

But like many things that are difficult, it comes with a great reward.

It ends up being the person who makes the sacrifice that gets the gift.

The gift of seeing someone else succeed.

The gift of watching someone else grow.

The gift of experiencing something that is bigger than yourself.

That is leadership.

That is human.

That is wonderful.

And that kind of leadership is always worth it.

How Fear Beats You Without You Even Knowing It


Fear shades everything you look at.

When you have fear, it colors each opportunity you are presented with through a lens that makes the opportunity look different than what’s really there.

Fear causes you to “add to” the scenario, things that may not be all that likely to happen.

Fear causes you to run through a list of worst case outcomes.

Fear leads you focus on the negative things that are distant possibilities.

Fear is your creativity working in the wrong direction.

Therefore, fear makes you discount the potential of the positive possibility.

In our minds, we tell ourselves that we are being smart or prudent in evaluating or thinking through the worst case – and sometimes that’s true.

But often what is really happening is that we end up making a decision based not on what is actually there but based on what our fear adds to what is there.

Unlikely outcomes.

Worst case scenarios.

Creative destructions that we make up in our own minds.

This “Fear Filter” works just as a sieve. It strips out so many opportunities that could change our lives for the better just because they are unknown.

The Fear Filter catches and traps what could be good by coloring it with what could be bad.

And just as you might forget after a few hours that you have sunglasses on, over a long period of time you forget and don’t even realize how many wonderful opportunities you are abdicating from your life because they are passing through a Fear Filter that you have forgotten was even there.

Playing Big, Being Scrappy, and How I became a New York Times bestselling Author with Terri Sjodin – Episode 160 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


TERRI L. SJODIN is the author of Scrappy and Small Message, Big Impact. She is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training, and consulting firm. For more than twenty years she has served as a speaker and consultant for Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEOs, and members of Congress. She lives in Newport Beach, California.

Show Highlights:

  • Scrappy and grit live on the same continuum. Nothing irritates the persistence person more than scrappy person finding a workaround.   @terrisjodin
  • You have to get access into the door to make things happen.  @terrisjodin
  • Execute scrappy effort before something can happen. @terrisjodin
  • Keep it classy and scrappy. @terrisjodin
  • Ordinary people that are rethinking the process. @terrisjodin
  • The effort will get you in the door but not going to get you the deal, you still have to do the work. @terrisjodin
  • A little bit of irritation creates the drive to action. @terrisjodin
  • Getting scrappy is a choice to play big in a way that fits you. @terrisjodin
  • What can I do that will have a really big impression each day?  @terrisjodin
  • Everyone has a scrappy spirit within them. @terrisjodin
  • Scrappy people don’t just try once. @terrisjodin
  • “Fail at what you don’t want so might as well take chance on what you love.” – Jim Carrey
  • 3 Things can result from a scrappy play:
    1.  It works
    2. Nothing happens
    3. Not received well
  • You don’t have to score on every play, just advance the ball. @terrisjodin
  • Rory shares his Scrappy moment that lead to becoming a New York Times bestselling author!
  • If you are willing to have the discipline than why not you? @rory_vaden
  • Once you get to the point of no longer waiting and wanting someone to save you everything changes. @rory_vaden
  • You are in charge of your life – You are responsible for your results. @rory_vaden
  • Find your dream and get scrappy. @rory_vaden

Visit to pre-order your copy of SCRAPPY today!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How Do You Write Jokes?


If you’re a business leader or a professional speaker you don’t necessarily need to learn how to write jokes, but it will help you if you can learn to be funny. 

Someone recently asked me, “Rory how do you write jokes?”

My response was “don’t try to write jokes; instead write stories.” 

For most people it’s much easier to write about something that really happened to them that makes them or other people laugh as they think back on it. And there is automatically an extra added element of humor when it’s based on a true story. 

Start with writing out the story first in as much detail as you remember. Then as you go back through and edit the story, look for natural opportunities to use these humor techniques:

Exaggerate the character features – Developing your characters is always one of the best ways to improve your stories. So let us know more about who the people are that were in the story and anytime you exaggerate their characteristics it’s usually funny. 

Instead of saying “she was an older woman” say “she was probably 67…thousand years old. Seriously, she was in the Yoda stage of life.”

Embellish the circumstances – Think of interesting ways to express the circumstances. 

Instead of saying “the family was poor” say “there was no way this family was going to have the money…there was a better chance of an Amish family pulling up in a Hummer.” 

Be self-deprecating – People love to laugh at a speakers own ineptness so don’t be afraid to highlight it. 

Instead of saying “I don’t know anything about changing air filters” say “I went to Home Depot and asked the lady for an air filter and she said ‘what size’ and I said ‘they come in different sizes?!'”

Connect the old with the new – Since all stories are from the past it makes us laugh when you introduce an element of the future that everyone knows wasn’t there. 

Instead of saying “Jesus went to Galilee” say “So Jesus pulled up Google Maps and said we must go to Galilee!”

Humanize inanimate objects – Anytime you treat things as living that aren’t really living it is often funny. 

My friend Craig Valentine has a cute story where he says “I needed help so I picked up a book. I remember I looked at the book and then the book looked at me!” The book then proceeds to give him advice as if it were a real person. 

Get inside their heads – We connect with other people by being able to relate with what they’re thinking and experiencing. So tell us what the characters were thinking in the crazy moments. But say something different than what everyone might expect. 

For instance let’s pretend you’re telling a story about a bicycle accident you once had during one of your first jobs. As the bike is falling over tell us what you were thinking. Except what we would expect to hear is “this is going to hurt” so instead say “wow this is really going to enhance my resume!”

Remember you’re not a stand up comedian so no one expects you to be. Which actually very much works in your favor because people won’t be expecting you to be funny in a business environment – and that makes it easier to pull off. So instead of starting with trying to write jokes, just tell stories. 

When speaking you don’t want to “lie” and just outright make things up because that’s dishonest. But you also don’t want to just tell what happened in plain detail because that’s boring. Both are a disservice to your audience. 

Instead, use what is commonly referred to as a “license to embellish.” Which simply means to highlight and play up the most salient features of the story. 

This will give your stories more life, more color, and more laughs.  

P.S. For more on the psychology of why we laugh and how to become a funnier person check out my book “How to be funny to make more money.

Are you hard to be friends with?


Great relationships develop not from the absence of conflict but from establishing an agreeable protocol for working through disagreements amicably.

If you find someone who you can “fight” well with, then chances are you’ve found a friend for life.

Half of resolving disagreements though has to do with your end of the dispute. You have to be able to receive feedback and coaching from your friend in order to have a hope for restoring that relationship.

One weakness that I’ve noticed about myself in my own life is that I haven’t always been the best at receiving feedback.

At times, it turns out, I have been a D.I.P.

D. Defensive – When people offer you feedback, do you defend yourself? Do you explain yourself? Do you try to justify why you were doing what you were doing? None of those things make you a bad person but all of them make you difficult to communicate with.

You have to remember that when people are giving you feedback it’s as much about them having some emotion they need to express to you even possibly more so than it is about delivering useful information to you. If you defend, justify, or explain – even if it is fair points you are making – you make it nearly impossible for them to feel resolved because they feel like you never heard what they were trying to tell you.

Which now means they are upset with you about two things. The first is the thing they were originally upset about but the second is that “you don’t listen” which has now been added on top.

Instead of defending, justifying, or explaining instead try to just ask questions. Don’t try to teach them something, just respond to everything with a genuine question that gives more clarity and detail to what they are trying to communicate to you.

You can always decide later that they are just totally out of their mind crazy and that everything they said had no value or truth to it whatsoever. But for now just listen. Ask questions. And take notes. Say “tell me more.” Then give yourself a day or two before you respond.

I. Insecure – When people offer you feedback, do you get emotional? If you do, it is almost a clear sign that you are insecure about something. Because when we are insecure, our brain starts to mental mushroom and it tries to attach meaning as to why this person is saying it what they are saying.

Our brain starts to run off in crazy directions adding extra meaning to what they are saying and coming up with crazy scenarios about why they are saying it – which makes it impossible again for us to actually be listening to them.

We respond emotionally to what we “think” they’re saying instead of just listening or processing what they’re actually saying.

P. Personal – When people give you coaching about how something you’re doing could be improved, do you internalize it as if they’re saying something is wrong with you?

It’s so easy to forget that just because someone is critiquing our technique, doesn’t mean that they are challenging our character.

Do your best to not make their feedback mean anything more than what they’re saying. Stay focused on the isolated behavior and instance of the behavior they are offering a suggestion on. Don’t extrapolate it into what their personal feelings may be about you.

If you ever feel yourself starting to get emotional when you’re receiving feedback, that’s a good sign that you’re being a D.I.P. – just like I have been.

But there is no need to be. Instead just be coachable, adaptable, curious and open to change.

For it is a great sign of maturity when you can seek to understand even when you have simultaneously been misunderstood.