Get Your Free eBook

GET IT NOW! Rory Vaden eBook

Sign up to receive my Daily Discipline blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-mini book of quotes FREE.

Get a free Rory Vaden e-book!

The Secret to Doing it All

Group of People Connection Digital Device Concept

Just yesterday I received this question from a reader:


I have been benefiting from your insight (very appreciative I found your information!) and I am seeking to implement the principles you share. I am amazed. I was thinking: you run Southwestern Consulting, you generate enormous amounts of actionable content, you have speaking engagements… all the while having a family and the responsibilities that go with it. What a juggling act it must be!

How do you stay ahead of the wave of time?

I’m starting out on building a platform and I wonder, will I have time to respond to comments like you do? Create quality content? And not sacrifice family relationships or my own health?”

– Pat

Thank you so much Pat!

Your comments are truly inspiring and uplifting to me. We do have a lot going on and I promise you there are many times where it is probably appearing like we have our act together far more than we actually do!

Needless to say, your note made me feel good to have someone take notice of how hard we really do work. Especially when the people we are working so hard for are people just like you!

My personal philosophies about productivity are clearly outlined in Chapter 5 of Take the Stairs (The Harvest Principle), in my Tedx talk, and of course in detail in Procrastinate on Purpose.

But I want to highlight the question “How do you manage to keep up with it all?”

Because there is a simple answer to it.

While it isn’t necessarily a secret, the answer is still dramatically under-realized by most people.

The answer to “how do I manage to keep up with it all?” is…

I don’t.

We do.

Me and my Wifey (AJ) do. Me and my Partners at SWC do. Me and our extraordinary “Special Ops” (Operations) team at SWC do. Me and our now private team of Vaden family assistants do.

We are a team.

We, as a team…do.

People often feel like it’s impossible for themselves to keep up with it all – and they’re right!

That’s exactly the problem. Most of us are trying to keep up with it all.

You can’t.

Only, you + a team can.

You have to have a team.

You must have a team.

It is our team that deserves the credit.

And I don’t mean that in a trite, cliché, politically correct, it’s the nice thing to say, kind of way – although I do love our team, appreciate them dearly, and believe in them.

I mean that you literally have to lead people. You have to inspire people to join a mission.

You have to create an outlet for them to pursue a cause.

You have to create jobs for people.

How do you do that?


You reinvest.

The way to building a team is you have to learn to reinvest.

And here is the key…

When you’re first starting out, you have to always reinvest more than you feel comfortable reinvesting.

There has never been a single time in the growth of our business so far (which is now an 8-figure business) where I felt like I had enough money to reinvest.

You always feel short of what you need.

But you have to do it anyway.

You can get Virtual Assistants at $2-4 per hour to start with simple tasks. And then you work your way up from there. Not to mention that you can get family, friends, neighbor kids, and interns to often help you out too.

If you’ll do your best to invest into them, they will do their best to invest into you.

My goal (and AJ’s) is to always keep reinvesting in other people. And one of my personal goals in the next 5 years is to have all of our top performing team members making more than any other person in the world who does a similar job function to what they do.

We want them to win. We want to create for them. We want to provide unparalleled opportunity for them.

When you reinvest in other people, you’re betting on them but you are also betting on yourself.

You’re betting that with the extra capacity they can give you, you can use that time to create more revenue, more opportunity, and more value.

And then once you do that, you reinvest again.

And again.

And again.

You build a team.

Slowly if you have to, but you must build a team.

Because you can’t do it all.

You need help.

You need other people.

And they need you.

And if you’ll create for them…

If you’ll work for them…

If you’ll risk for them…

Then you will provide rewards for them that they can’t get anywhere else.

And in turn, they will pick you up, support you, and carry you on their shoulders all the way until other people look at you one day and say…

“How in the world do you possibly keep up with it all?”

The Myth of Motivation and the 8 Drivers of Human Discipline

Our ability to be disciplined is directly proportionate to the clarity of our vision.

In our work coaching now, more than 3400 clients we have begun to notice that many people come to us thinking that they have a lack of discipline in some area of their life. What we find however is that very often these people struggle not from a lack of discipline but a lack of vision.

If we have a cloudy picture of what we want for our lives or our future, then there is at best a convoluted connection to how the sacrifices we are asking ourselves to make today forward us towards anything that we care about. There is no context for action and so it becomes hard for anybody to “motivate himself or herself.”

However, when we have a crystal clear picture of what we want for our lives and for our future, then there is a naturally strong connection to how the sacrifices we are asking ourselves to make today forward us in that progress towards something we care about.

It creates a context for action to take place and our self-discipline engages almost automatically. We no longer have to motivate the individual because they are completely self managed, driven by the power of their own internally connected vision.

Yet, I continue to be amazed at people’s inability to create vision for their own life – and also of the pervasive incompetence of leaders to be able to create vision for those around them. In fact I am frustrated even at my own inability to not know the individual vision of every single person on our own team.

As leaders, there is certainly a vision for the company that is important but it is the vision for the individual person that will typically drive them. That is what most of us leaders and coaches need to spend time understanding and shaping for our team members.

So here are 8 of the most common types of practical visions that inspire people. We call these the 8 drivers of self-discipline.

  1. A Thing – People are motivated by the ability to earn and/or pay for things: like a car, a house, a watch, jewelry, a boat, etc.
  1. An Event – We get motivated by impending events such as weddings, graduations, births, or just being in shape for summer.
  1. A Place – Many times the vision of visiting a place will inspire us. This can include winning an incentive trip or taking our family on vacation.
  1. A Status – Status is another of the most powerful drivers and in this category we include anything that elevate a person’s opinion of their own self-worth such as: a promotion, being debt free, becoming a millionaire, or a bestselling author. It could also be as subjective as “earning street cred”, being famous or feeling sexy.
  1. A Trophy – Recognition is one of the quiet drivers of accomplishment. This is earning an award like Presidents Club, Top Producer, or being inducted into the hall of fame.
  1. A Gift – Being able to pay for your kids private school or college, or perhaps buying an engagement ring are often powerful motivators. This is almost always connected to buying something awesome for someone you love. But could also include making a donation to a favorite church or charity.
  1. A Person – Never underestimate the powerful force of earning another person’s respect. Whether it’s a dad, a boss, a peer, a child, or even a competitor, we are strangely motivated by the vision of earning someone else’s “atta boy” for our good works.
  1. A Legacy – At some point all of the above motivators seem to lose their appeal and people inevitably default to wanting their life to have “counted” for something. So legacy becomes a key driver which is simply doing something that makes a long term impact on the world.

Have a conversation with each person on your team and go through each of these items with them to determine which one of them strikes the strongest emotional chord for something that they want. When you find amazed at how quickly it changes the direction of their discipline.

I promise you that the sooner you start talking about the person’s purpose and less about their daily performance is the sooner you will start to see an increase in their production.

How to Create a Culture of Discipline – Lesson 4

4. Draw a strong connection of each individual’s role to the company’s mission

In an earlier blog post I wrote that there are only 2 reasons why someone isn’t motivated; this one is about the second.

If a person on your team can’t see the connection between how their own personal vision will be fulfilled by living up to the company’s vision then they will never be disciplined at work.

Yet again, this is another blog I could’ve title “Things that Rory is still working on as a leader”.

It really is this simple…

If someone isn’t expending the effort in their current role it’s because they either don’t have a personal vision for themselves or they don’t see how this activity you are asking them to do will forward them towards their vision.

Where does that leave us as the leader?

It’s our job to show, demonstrate, talk about, and remind them of how if they accomplish success in their current endeavor how that will move them toward what they really want in life.

When each person understands their role in the overall company and they know how important the work is that they do compared to delivering outstanding performance to a customer then they will naturally engage!

However, when they feel like their job is useless and out of touch from anything that is really important, or anything that is going to help them personally, then they are going to be on their cell phone checking Facebook all day.

I hate to be the one to tell you this but if they’re not working it’s because you’ve not done a good job as a leader of connecting their vision to the company vision.

I know it’s a pain! But no one ever said leadership was easy.