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If you want to be paid like a professional, you need to act like one.


Professionals study until they become expert. 

Professionals work hard even when they don’t feel like it. 

Professionals execute the game plan even when things feel hopeless. 

Professionals work consistent hours and create consistent processes. 

Professionals have a proper attitude.

Professionals are persistent. 

Professionals treat their clients like gold and continually work to service them and strengthen the relationship. 

Professionals master their craft.

Professionals invest into their own personal development.

Professionals innovate. 

Professionals do not whine.

Professionals take care of the details. 

Professionals do not make excuses. 

Professionals are consistent. 

Professionals are extremely rare, and are paid accordingly. 

If you want to be paid like a professional, make sure you are acting like one. 

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.

Can Self-Discipline Make You Rich?

In this video above I interview a world-renowned authority on prosperity, Randy Gage. Randy is one of the most engaging, entertaining, and interesting people I’ve ever met. His ideas are sometimes polarizing but regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what he says his content always subsequently demands your own introspection. One of the things I appreciate most about Randy, isn’t his topic necessarily but that he is an actual practitioner of the things that he preaches. The guy is rich and he earned his way there. It’s a congruence that is unfortunately absent between many thought-leaders and their topics today. Randy and I have been friends for a while and I’ve always learned a lot from him not by doing what he does per say but more by learning and watching from the way he does things. He really is brilliant and unique and genuine all at the same time.

Recently I had an opportunity to attend one of his classes as a paying student. The course was incredible, after which, I was able to steal him away to do a short interview gathering his thoughts on the connection between self-discipline and becoming rich. I was pleasantly surprised at the relatedness of the two topics. He seems to attribute much of prosperity to a person’s ability to first be self-disciplined. Here are some of Randy’s top sound bytes from the clip:

I will do today what others will not do so that tomorrow I can do what others cannot do.

The right mindset precedes the proper movement.

I start every day with self-development.

Discipline is what creates Freedom because Success isn’t free. Freedom is never free. Freedom comes from discipline.

You know what I hate more than cardio? I hate being fat. That’s why I’m self-disciplined.

If you want prosperity you have to have self-discipline.

Follow Randy on Twitter, join his bazillion FB Fans, or find him on YouTube.

See you in the stairwell,

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

God, Money, and Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs*

Especially for Christians who hear sermons on what troubles money can cause if not handled right, giving ourselves permission to make money is often a huge step in actually acquiring it. There is nothing wrong with having money. Money is neutral. It is non-emotional. It is void of feeling. It has no meaning. It’s just paper. In fact when we get into trouble with money is when we make it mean things that it really doesn’t – good or bad.

Money is simply a blessing and a tool; like fuel in your car, office supplies on your desk, or any other resource you use to accomplish something. But just like any resource, it has properties.  And being a great manager of it as a resource means being educated on its properties and knowing what it can and can’t do. It means learning about it as a resource so that you can leverage it to its greatest advantage.

We can manage money without it managing us. We can have money without having it be the place we derive our self-worth. We can make money without making it what defines us.

There are lots of rich people who do it every day. There are plenty of rich people who are good people and there are plenty of rich people who are jerks. Just like there are plenty of poor people who are good people and there are plenty of poor people who are jerks. Having money doesn’t make you good or bad, right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful. Having money just means that you have money. Not having money just means that you don’t have money. And losing our emotional attachment to money frees us up to have power over it to use it and earn it more effectively.

That is one more reason why giving money is so powerful (there are several).  When you give money you demonstrate your power over it and your emotional detachment from it, which fortifies your attitude towards treating it like what it is: a tool. Like any other tool it’s a tool that can be used for good or a tool that can be used for evil. Its use will depend on the person controlling it. But having that appropriate attitude about money as a tool empowers you to actually acquire more of it. Once you have money it is up to you how you use it. So are you a person who uses tools for good and for serving a higher purpose? Or are you a person who uses tools to wreak havoc?

Money doesn’t make a person good or evil; the person makes themselves good or evil. Not having money won’t make you good just like having money won’t make you good. Besides, we all fall short in our own works of being good enough anyways.

The love of money IS the root of all evil. But the love of anything, other than what matters most, is the root of all evil – that’s what we call an idol. The root of all evil is endlessly pursuing something in hopes that it will fill a hole in our hearts that can’t be filled with any amount of wealth, power, friends, fame, success, or any other worldly item. In other words, the root of all evil is having a misappropriated idol.

Money is a particularly dangerous idol because as we get more of it we tend to be more likely to derive our self-worth and our feeling of control from it. It becomes more temptuous to rely only on ourselves when we have more money. So the trick is that as you get more money you have to discipline yourself to not let it take on more meaning to you; to not let it become your idol. Sometimes that is where we miss the mark.

But we can LOVE what matters most, derive our self-worth and meaning from that, and still physically possess this objective tool we call money. I’ve been poor and been happy and I’ve been rich and been happy, but all other things being equal, we might as well be rich! Because the properties of money allow us to do some good things with it when we have it.

You CAN’T serve two masters but that’s okay because you don’t have to serve money in order to have it. You can just have it. You also don’t have to love money to have it. You can just have it.

Some of the richest people I’ve met are classic examples of having money but not deriving their value, meaning, or self-worth from it.  Some of the more famous ones I’ve met that I personally model my life after (in this area) include: Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar, and Mark Hall (lead singer for Casting Crowns).

So, now you have permission to make money. Go do it. How? By picking up the phone and getting busy! Fill in your CSFs and light up the phones. Just discipline yourself to remember that no matter how much or how little you have of it; money doesn’t replace what matters most. Talk to you soon, my dear friend!

See you in the stairwell,

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

* This is an excerpt from a live coaching call with one of my clients recently.