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How to Immediately Increase Your Self Discipline

How to Immediately Increase Your Self Discipline

After delivering a keynote speaking presentation last week a man comes up to me and asks, “Rory what could I do immediately to increase my self-discipline?”

It’s a good question, and the best answer is pretty simple but before I share the answer with you it’s valuable to understand the context of the answer.

I think this particular man, and most people in general who might ask this question, are looking for a permanent solution.

They’re looking for something they can do once that will permanently improve their self-discipline.

But that is the wrong way of thinking about it.

Success in anything is almost never the result of doing things right one time.

Success is the byproduct of doing things right consistently over periods of time.

And you will never really be successful until you actually understand that.

But that doesn’t mean the answer isn’t powerful. The answer is powerful because it’s the same answer in every situation.

So in that way it is something you can learn to do once, and then if you can get yourself to repeat that one habit consistently over time, it will bring you the success you’re looking for.

(Which, by the way, is why our core business at Southwestern Consulting is 1 on 1 coaching because we know what people really need help with is not learning one time what they need to do but rather they need help with the accountability of actually getting themselves to do the thing consistently over a long period of time.)

So back to the issue at hand. How do you immediately increase your self-discipline?

Simple: you think longer term.

Anytime you evaluate a decision in the context of what feels good here and now, you’re going to always gravitate towards doing the easiest thing.

But anytime you evaluate a decision in the context of what is going to make tomorrow better, easier, and more fruitful then you’re willingness to endure sacrifice increases.

We often think that we don’t have “enough” discipline but that is inaccurate.

We have plenty of self discipline.

It’s just that self discipline becomes dormant in the absence of a dream.

So it’s not really a matter of increasing your self discipline as much as it’s a matter of activating it.

It’s already there.

As you get clear on what you want in the future, your energy activates for what you can endure right now.

If you’re not thinking about the impacts on your future, you default to what creates the best situation right now – which is usually indulgence.

It’s not a matter of how much willpower you have.

It’s a matter of how long is your perspective.

So the permanent solution that is immediately available to you for increasing your self discipline  is to think longer term.

But you can’t just do it once. You have to do that every time you’re confronted with a decision about whether or not to be disciplined.

Which is why we at Southwestern say “success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

Why most stories will never help you sell but how yours can!

stories

The story is in the struggle.

If there is no struggle there is no story.

You can’t have a hero if you don’t first have a villain.

You can’t have an exciting climax if you don’t first have a dramatic conflict.

You can’t have a win if you don’t first have a chance of a loss.

The story is in the struggle.

That is the secret to storytelling.

If you want to tell better stories then you have to become better at describing the struggle.

Why do stories matter?

Because stories are one of the most powerful, communication tools we have.

Stories are persuasive because they are what people relate to.

Stories are one of the best strategies you can use to influence people to change their behavior, buy, donate, or take action.

The human mind loves stories.

Part of the reason why is because the human mind loves to complete things

It loves to finish things.

And it doesn’t like unfinished things.

Which is why stories are so powerful.

The start of a story begins something and then our brain stays engaged until it is finished.

The opening of a story draws us in and our mind doesn’t let us release until the story is closed.

Think about it, haven’t you ever finished watching a movie or reading a book that you really didn’t like?

Why did you do that?

It’s just because you couldn’t handle not knowing how it ended!

Expert leaders, salespeople, marketers, speakers and of course authors know this and that is why they use stories to communicate their points rather than just delivering information by itself.

And the single most important ingredient to any story is the struggle.

The story is in the struggle.

It is the conflict.

It is the drama.

It is the uncertainty and unknowing of what is going to happen.

We’re not interested in a movie where a man meets a girl and they immediately fall in love and they get married and live happily ever after.

That’s nice but it’s boring. It doesn’t engage us. It doesn’t get us emotionally bought in. And so it doesn’t capture our attention.

But you could make the same exact movie a thousand times just using different characters that follows this plot:

Girl wants love but is unsure she is worthy of it and will ever find it.

Man loves to party and is unsure if he’ll ever trade in his independence to settle down and become a family man.

Upon an unexpected meeting, they both feel a spark.

But neither is sure if it’s real or if the other person would go for them.

Still unsure about the relationship possibility and their own selves, they flirt and it starts to come together.

They start to casually date and all is wonderful as they begin to fall in love.

But then something terrible happens and they separate. It all falls apart.

Just when there seems to be no hope, one of them has an epiphany and comes back to the other desperate for forgiveness.

For a moment though we’re not sure if their partner will ever take them back.

But then they do and THEN they live happily ever after!

Sound familiar? It should.

It’s the formula for just about every romantic comedy ever made. (I love all of them!)

But it works because it’s littered with conflict!

It’s loaded with self-doubt, uncertainty, challenges, and odds.

The story is all about the struggle.

We think it’s the climax that we care about but it’s really the struggle that’s more important.

How do stories apply to business? 

Smart marketers know that you can’t just talk about the results you provide – that is just skipping ahead in uninteresting fashion immediately to the conclusion.

Rather, you have to write about and describe the problems you help solve.

Smart salespeople know that when you’re third party selling, don’t just tell a story about the results your client experienced.

Make it interesting, more engaging, and more influential by first telling us about the challenges they were experiencing and the obstacles they had to overcome.

Tell me a story specifically about what they were struggling with BEFORE they met you and if I can relate to having a similar problem in my own life then I will be more likely to buy from you as well.

You have to sell the problem as much as you sell the solution!

If you’re a leader don’t just tell us about a new strategy the company has. Give us the context for why you made the decision based on a real-life story of what happened that triggered the realization that we needed to change.

If you’re a fundraiser don’t just tell us about all the thousands of people you’ve helped as a collective body. That’s wonderful but we sometimes have a hard time connecting with a mass body of faceless people.

Instead, tell us the story of one person and what they were struggling with and what their life was like BEFORE they found you. THEN tell us about what your cause or charity did for them and how it changed their life.

Do that and I’ll double the amount of the check I’ll write to you.

It’s important that you share the results. It’s important that you tell us what ended up happening. But that is most powerful when you first tell us what the need or the pain was before.

We do want to know what happens. We do want to know how it finishes. We do care about knowing the ending.

But if you want to engage us, if you want us to pay attention, if you want us to care…

Tell us a story.

Tell us a struggle.

Tell us about what the challenge was, what the villain was, what the darkness was, what the problem was, what the doubt was, what the uncertainty was, what the hopelessness was…

Then tell us how you overcame it.

That’s a story that will sell.

That’s a story that will influence.

That’s a story that will lead people to action.

That’s a story because the story is in the struggle.

How to Save Your Company $1.5 Million in 3 Minutes

million

People often say that “time is money.”

They are wrong.

Time is not money.

Time is worth way more than money is.

In fact, via compounding interest, time is the one thing that takes money and effortlessly turns money into more money.

Money that is lost, can be earned back. But time that is lost is gone forever.

Which is why our team at Southwestern Consulting believes that the next generation of cost savings scrutiny in organizations will not be as focused on saving money as it will be on saving time.

Think about this… almost every organization in the world has an entire team of people whose job is solely dedicated to counting the financial costs of a business. This is the accounting department of course.

Yet almost no organizations have even a single person who monitors, tracks, and manages all of the different ways that people throughout the organization lose time every day.

Not even one person whose full effort is dedicated to figuring out detailed ways to save everyone time.

Why is that?

Especially given the fact that one of the most expensive financial costs to any business is human capital and the money we spend on our labor force in wages.

The Money Value of Time (MVOT) from Procrastinate on Purpose teaches us that regardless of how we derive income, we all have a calculable hourly rate of pay. And that we are always either paying someone else at their rate of pay or we are paying ourselves at ours.

Which means that every single task and every single moment costs money. And anything that wastes even a second of your time is a waste of your money.

So that means there is opportunity throughout the organization to save massive amounts of money by saving massive amounts of time.

But where might we find these massive time savings?

Is it in cutting insignificant projects and unnecessary meetings? Sure.

But an overlooked area – with perhaps even more opportunity – is cutting mere minutes or even seconds spent on repetitive tasks that recur on a frequent basis.

For example let’s say you have a task that a team of 50 people each do 10x a day that takes them 180 seconds each time. This could be something like copying and pasting and then sending an email to a prospect or client with an attachment or something.

That’s 1500 minutes total for the team each day x 250 working days in a year for a grand total of 375,000 minutes each year spent on that one recurring 3-minute task.

If the average person on the team makes $50k a year then that person has an MVOT  of $24.04 per hour or $0.40 per minute.

Which means that a recurring task that takes 50 people (who make $50k) just 3 minutes a few times a day could be costing an organization $150,000 a year!

Plus, keep in mind those are hard dollars being paid to real people which means there is a legitimate opportunity cost of using that money.

If a company could save that time, and instead invest that money then (using a simple investment calculator) we know that $150,000 invested one time at an 8% rate of return for 30 years would be worth $1,509,398.53!

Think about that…

A task taking people 3 minutes could be worth over $1.5 million in the long run.

Now think about this…

If you have a team bigger than 50 people…

Or

If you have regular recurring tasks that take longer than 3 minutes…

Or

If you have more than 1 recurring task a day that everyone does…

Or

If you have people in the organization that make more than $50k per year…

Or

If you could do better than an 8% return on your money…

Or

If you invested that money for longer than 30 years…

Or any combination of these factors…

Then losing that time could cost you even much much more than $1.5 million of opportunity cost over the course of time.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that we should place as much value on saving time as we do on making more money.

The point is that we are potentially missing out on millions of dollars in cost savings by looking at things differently.

The point is that we should potentially apply even a higher level of scrutiny to how we spend our time than we do with how we spend our money.

But most companies don’t.

Most companies track every single penny spent on paper clips and pens and completely ignore the question of “what recurring tasks are sucking up our people’s time?”

It’s a massive opportunity for profit growth in the future of business.

We believe that the future of cost savings is going to be more focused on saving time then it will be on saving money.

Which is one reason why we believe that there is going to be a continued boom in the world of workflow automation.

We believe, as mentioned in my Ted talk, that “automation is to your time exactly what compounding interest is to your money.”

Saving salespeople time by training them on the best communication strategies and interpersonal skills has always been a space that Southwestern Consulting has been known to specialize in.

But when it comes to saving salespeople time by coupling it with automating things like lead generation, lead tracking, workflow, pipeline management, customer follow up, CRM and content marketing, that’s also a service we provide for small and medium sized businesses.

If you’re interested in more on that, you can check out our free 1 hour training on turning your business into an Automated Revenue Machine.

But no matter who you are or what type of company you have, what we all need to know and understand is that time is not money.

Time is, and will always be, worth way more than money.

Make sure you’re valuing it accordingly.

Painless Prospecting and Conquering Call Reluctance with Dave Brown – Episode 195 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Prospecting

Dave Brown is a Founding Partner of Southwestern Consulting and one of the driving forces in making Southwestern Consulting what it is today. He is a world leader in training people to eliminate their call reluctance through his award winning speech and book Painless Prospecting. He lives out the 160+ year Southwestern Principles in all he does. Dave is a sales and sales leadership practitioner first and everything else second. When he is not on stage or on the phone selling something he is spending time with his wife, kids, friends and dog. He is still very active with sports around his community and is a wine fanatic that is preparing the soil on his land outside of Nashville for their family’s future Tennessee Winery already named “Brown Family Sellers.”

Show Highlights:

Learn to say positive things about rejection. @davebrown_SWC

Pray for your nos. @davebrown_SWC

Asks everyone, even if they reject you, for referrals. @davebrown_SWC

When you’re rejected, you are intercepting the negativity for someone else. @davebrown_SWC

There are massive opportunities out there for us if we just reach out. @davebrown_SWC

You have to ask for what you want or you’re not going to get it. @davebrown_SWC

The reason we don’t ask is because we don’t believe we deserve it.  @davebrown_SWC

Be pleasantly persistent. @rory_vaden

Act your way into healthy thinking. @davebrown_SWC

It’s hard to be nervous when your hearts on service. @rory_vaden

Fear is self-centered. @rory_vaden

Change the way you think about “no.” @rory_vaden

 

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!

Creating an Income Producing Schedule Lifestory with Jamie Hourahan and Jeff Keen – Episode 190 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

income

Jeff Keen is a registered loan agent for Ideal Home Loans, LLC in Denver, Colorado. He has been in the mortgage industry for 17 years. Jeff is in coaching with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches, Jamie Hourahan. Jamies’ experience is vast, but what sets him apart is his innate drive to achieve, excel, and exceed expectations. He’s an expert in helping people realize their potential and boldly deliver it to the world. He has a love for systems and operations and is constantly working to make strong existing systems better and more effective. Jamie is a relentless pioneer when it comes to finding sharper and more efficient ways of conducting business. He understands what it takes to start a new business, and has the energy and enthusiasm needed to be a top producer himself while leading teams to success.

Show Highlights:

Discipline creates freedom.  – Jeff Keen

I had to create new habits that make for a more productive day. – Jeff Keen

If you start your day in reaction mode, it takes over your entire day. @CoachHourahan

Jeff surrendered immediately and completely to the process. @CoachHourahan

Now I run the day instead of the day running me. – Jeff Keen

@rory_vaden shares 4 buckets to create an income producing schedule.

Routine. Reactionary. Revenue. Recurring. @rory_vaden

 

Click here to request a free call with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches!

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!

Navigate: Advanced Selling Systems with Dustin Hillis – Episode 162 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Navigate

Dustin Hillis is an entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting. He has a degree in Psychology and is the author of the book Navigate: Selling The Way People Like To Buy and Co-author of newly released Navigate 2.0. He is the co-creator of the sales training curriculum Top Producer’s Edge & Manager’s Edge, which has been fully integrated by more than 5,000 sales professionals worldwide.

More than just a teacher of sales, Dustin is a Top-Producing practitioner.  As a rookie dealer at Southwestern Advantage, the oldest direct sales company in the US, he finished as the #1 salesperson among over 3,000 salespeople worldwide. A few years later, Dustin broke the over 160-year-old all-time sales record earning a profit of over $100,000 in a 14-week summer as a Junior in college. He is currently the #1 salesperson out of over 150,000 salespeople in the history of the company.

Show Highlights:

  • It takes working hard, studying and being coachable. @dhillis
  • Psychology is rooted in the essence of sales. @rory_vaden
  • Remember, don’t sell the way you want to sell, sell the way people like to buy. @dhillis
  • It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, if you’re a top seller you have these for traits:
    1. Attitude and Self Talk
    2. Work Ethic
    3. Problem Solving
    4. Student of the game
  • You must be able to put the blinders on, put your head down and go to work. @dhillis
  • Top Producers are willing to invest in their own minds and think of learning as a journey. @dhillis
  • Navigate is Broken into 3 parts:
    • Solidify
    • Identify
    • Modify
  • The reason people buy is because they like you and trust you. @dhillis
  • Our resistance to identify with selling often is the result of the negative stereotypes associated with selling. @rory_vaden
  • Selling is nothing more than a conversation about someone’s needs. @rory_vaden
  • Closing a sale is bending over backwards to help a customer figure out what is best for them. @rory_vaden
  • The very first step in selling is being completely convicted about what you’re selling. @rory_vaden

 

Click Here to get the Navigate Advanced Selling System FREE Training Webinar.

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!