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!

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


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!

10 Actions That Improve Business Cash Flow

cash flow

Every business eventually has tough times. Specifically, there will be times when decisions have to be made to preserve the financial health of the organization.

Whether it’s a challenging economy, industry disruption, a change in the competitive landscape, unexpected regulatory requirements, or just good old fashioned slowing down of revenues, as business leaders we need to be prepared to make decisions that will improve the cash position of the organism we are stewarding.

When you notice that things are taking a downturn, it’s easy to begin to panic.

Here are 10 actions you and your leadership team can take to preserve financial health during difficult times:

1.Increase Your Sales – The number one strategy for any business that is in a hole, is to “sell your way out.” Get aggressive, get hungry, go out and get sales in the door! If you don’t know how to do that, of course our team at Southwestern Consulting specializes in helping companies and individuals quickly generate revenues. New sales breathe life into any company. You may only be a couple key sales away from turning the momentum back in the other direction.

2.Scrutinize Service Contracts – List out every recurring monthly expense your business has and challenge whether or not you need each one. Every one that you do need, contact the vendor and explain you need to get better terms. You’ll be amazed that half of them are giving deals to their new customers for half of what you’re currently paying. (Bonus tip: You can even consider canceling all your credit cards because many of your monthly charges that you don’t really need will get cancelled automatically.

 3.Restructure Your Financing – Typically a business’s biggest monthly bills are going to be payroll, taxes, and debt. If you need cash flow, one of the best things you can do is try to refinance your debt to lower your monthly payments. (We are fans of not having debt but if you do have it then this is one time to use it to your benefit.)

4.Liquidate Old Inventory – If you have inventory laying around, do everything creative you can to convert it to dollars. This can also be non-critical assets that you can sell off. Have the equivalent of a “business garage sale.”

5.Slow Down Payments – Having cash is of course two parts: getting more and spending less. If you’re in a pinch, this is a good time to talk with your vendors about potentially restructuring terms. If you’re not already, slow your payments to be on the last day allowable for payments to be due.

6.Speed Up Receipts – This is the other side of the same coin as the previous bullet point. Talk to your accounts receivable and see what you can do to get them to pay faster. You want to avoid discounts if possible, but depending on the severity of your situation, do what you need to get cash in the door.

7.Stop New Investments – In general planning for the future is good, but there is a point where your mode switches from “thriving to surviving”. When that happens it should go without saying that typically you immediately discontinue new investments. Not only does it preserve cash, but it serves as a powerful tool for refocusing people’s time and attention to get back to keeping the main thing the main thing while you weather the storm. (Note this may be the opposite of a good idea in the case of industry disruption.)

8.Have Cost-Cutting Contests – Rally your team together and challenge them to come up with as many ways as possible to cut costs in your business. Openly ask them for places that they think you are overspending, or places where they could operate on less. Every dollar counts, and typically in situations like this it’s a bunch of small things that get trimmed that add up to the big savings that keeps the organization alive.

9.Consider Raising Price – It might seem counter intuitive to raise prices when things are tough, but price increases are one of the fastest ways to gain margin for your company and we often overlook them. Price increases are often even better than selling more units because if you can keep the same COGs (cost of goods) then all the extra becomes profit. If you haven’t had a price increase in a while, now could be the time.

10.Sell Off Real-Estate – The worst time to sell real estate is when you need money fast, but it’s something that may become a life saver. That new land you’ve been saving for expansion might have to go, or hey maybe you can even rent out some piece of your less-used space to generate some quick money.

Yes, I understand that none of these things are “fun”, but as leaders we sometimes have to make hard choices in the short term in order to power our survival and growth in the long term. And any of these ten things can be priority options over having to start cutting payroll by way of decreases or layoffs.

Leading through tough times is not easy but if “cash in” is going down, you have to find a way to make sure your “cash out” goes down at the same or slower rate. If you don’t then “really” bad days are inevitably ahead for everyone.

Do your best. Stay positive and focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t. If you do a good job making improvements in all of these areas early enough, then hopefully you’ll be able to minimize and possibly circumvent the greatest challenges all together.

Bruce Turkel: All About Them – Episode 158 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

all about them

Bruce Turkel has helped create some of the world’s most compelling brands including Miami. Bruce has worked with Hasbro, Nike, American Express, Charles Schwab, Citicorp, Discovery Networks, Bacardi, Sol Melia Hotels, Azamara Club Cruises and many more great companies.

A captivating speaker and author, Bruce has spoken at MIT, Harvard, TEDx, and hundreds of corporate and industry conferences. Bruce appears regularly on FOX Business and has been on CNN, ABC, CBS, and NPR. He has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Communication Arts, and AdWeek.


Show Highlights:

  • Everyone’s trying to do something and nothing happens until something gets sold. @BruceTurkel
  • Marketing is selling with text and imagery. @rory_vaden
  • Stop talking about yourself, start talking about your audience. @BruceTurkel
  • The biggest problem is that people jump to “ready, aim, fire” before they figure out why they matter. @BruceTurkel
  • Instead of trying to be unique, try to find your POD: point of difference and point of distinction. @BruceTurkel
  • Aim not to be perfect or unique but different and distinct. @BruceTurkel
  • Doing all the things that we have to do keeps us from doing the things we need to do. @BruceTurkel
  • Who does your customer want to be? @BruceTurkel
  • Don’t try to sell your customer what they’re buying. Sell them who they will be AFTER they’ve purchased your product. @BruceTurkel
  • A good brand makes you feel good; a great brand makes you feel good about you. @BruceTurkel
  • Don’t think just about what you do but how what you do exists in the context of who your customer is and why they matter. @BruceTurkel
  • When selling talk about them, not about you. @rory_vaden
  • It’s a mistake to sell using primarily functions and features. @rory_vaden
  • You want to talk with your customers about the destination not the journey. @rory_vaden
  • Talk to your customers about who they want to be not what they want to have. @rory_vaden


Click here for more information about Bruce and to grab your own copy of All About Them.

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!

To Get Rich: First Get Broke

Broke isn’t bad. In fact compared to most people in the US today being just broke can actually be quite good. 82% of college students don’t pay off their credit card balances each month (Sallie Mae), 66% of the 77 million baby boomers won’t be able to support their current standard of living when they retire (USA Today), and an AARP poll tells us that 28% of Americans spent more time watching reality TV last MONTH than they have spent planning and preparing for retirement over the last 10 YEARS! Most of us are below broke because we owe. How did we get this way?

Because most of us carry debt our entire life and when we have monthly payments we never get full control of our number one wealth building tool: our income!

I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled across Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book almost 4 years ago. And there was 1 premise in that book (and in others I’ve read since) that makes a whole lot of sense if you’re trying to be rich…

It’s easy to get rich if you don’t have monthly payments! Because all of your income piles up very quickly!

But if you have monthly payments then you are trying to fill up a water bucket with holes in the bottom. You can go your whole life working harder and faster and still making very little progress filling up your bucket. But if you can get the holes plugged then you’ll be amazed at how fast your bucket fills up.

The reason I say broke isn’t too bad is because I define broke as having no debt, and owning all of the items you need to live your current lifestyle (cars, home, furniture, electronics, everything). If you are truly broke, then that means the next dollar you earn is going to add wealth. But if you owe money on anything, then you are still working to get your freedom.

To me being rich is being free. Being free to do what you want, when you want, without owing anybody anything. And if you don’t have debt, then it doesn’t take that much money to be free. I know plenty of people who don’t have an exorbitant amount of money who are rich because they are free. Free from worry, free from obligation, free from pressure, free from stress about money.

The moral of this story? My encouragement to everyone (especially young people) is don’t fall into the trap of having the nice car, the big house, or the lavish clothes before you’re out of debt. Have the discipline to buy things only that you can pay for outright. If you are in debt, work your tail off and scramble to get out as fast as you can so you can start saving and accumulating wealth.

If you have the discipline to control your spending, the discipline to manage your money, and the discipline to start saving early, you are definitely going to be rich. Remember $1000 per month for 1 year (total $12,000) invested ONE TIME at 12% and left alone for 35 years is worth over $2 million! What small disciplined sacrifices would you make today if you knew for sure they’d make you a millionaire tomorrow?

See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the Stairs – Success means doing things you don’t want to do