April 18, 2016

Using Motivation to Change Lives--with Curtis Stout

At one point or another, we've all probably given $10 or $20 to a nonprofit organization. Whether it was through a donation box, over the phone, or in person at a collection point, we've donated money and felt that instant sensation of gratification as we convince ourselves that we've made a difference, that our $20 will directly impact the lives of those less fortunate than us. And undoubtedly it does. But while making a donation is certainly impactful, few of us take the action necessary to truly make a difference. Most of the organizations that we've donated to are faceless charities, large companies that we may be involved with but rarely do we meet the founders, the CEO's, or the men and women making the important decisions.

Today's guest is Curtis Stout, the founder and director of Project 117, a nonprofit organization that has built a school in Haiti for children who have no access to education due to their age or circumstances. Curtis is a remarkable individual who has been moved by his faith to provide a wonderful opportunity for dozens of children, and his story is one that is both motivating and inspiring. Having no experience running a nonprofit, he took huge steps towards founding Project 117 and through the help of some close friends, made a huge impact in the lives of Haitian children.

What follows is the interview I conducted with Curtis regarding the creation and success of Project 117:

Question 1: What was the moment you realized that Project 117 was really what you wanted to do? When did you know that you wanted to start a nonprofit organization?

Curtis: "There were a lot of little signs along the way that this was something I might get into eventually, but that pivotal moment was when I was working this really crappy factory job. It was March of 2011, about 6 months after I returned home from a 9-month trip to Haiti. Anyway, it was early in the morning and I was working this job, and I just had this thought, "What am I doing? I mean, what am I doing at this machine? I hate this job. " I knew it was temporary, but it was one of those moments when I realized that I didn't have a moment to waste.

Before that, I was constantly sharing the story of children that had been left behind in Haiti, and there were plenty of people that were supporting me to start a school. But overall, it was really that moment at the factory.

Question 2: How did the idea first start to grow? Who was involved?

Curtis: "There were some different people that really started to encourage me to take some steps in this direction. My uncle has been a mentor of mine and a father figure, and he really encouraged me. There was a night at a church gathering when he announced to everyone that I was going to do this, and when he made that announcement, this was before my "aha" moment at the factory. It was one of those moments that kicked me in the butt.

So there were little moments like that where the idea really started to grow. But really after my factory moment, I asked a local art teacher that was about to retire to go and have lunch with me. And she was one of the people who had been to Haiti before and I knew we were both passionate about the same things. That was the first meeting where the idea started to take form. From there, we brought on another lady and she added her husband. Then we had another guy come on from the church. Then we started doing vision casting. And it just snowballed from there on."

Question 3: As it began to take shape, were there moments when you doubted the future success of the business? If so, how did you combat these fears?

Curtis: "I had multiple moments along the way, really like the first two years of our process...Before the school started, I had a number of moments where I wondered if I was the right person to lead the ministry, to lead the nonprofit. There were times where I would walk away from a board meeting or fundraising meeting just thinking, "What am I doing? How have I found myself here? Am I equipped to do this? Do I have the right skills and abilities?

I think whenever you take a step of faith, or try something new or challenging, you have those moments of doubt that follow, and you have to kind of dig a little deeper and figure out who you really are and whether you're really committed or not. For me, it was really through prayer and through surrendering the success of the organization to God. You know, I have a strong faith and those beliefs are a very strong guide for my life. How I kept grounded was by saying, "If God wants this to happen, it will happen."

Another big part is just having what I like to call "Truth Tellers" in your life. Those are people and mentors that will speak into the doubts you are having and encourage you to not back down. There were moments early on when I was very sheepish, especially when it came to fundraising, where I just had to have some people tell me that I was wobbling around. They told me to commit and step forward. So you definitely need people like that in your life."

Question 4: During this time, have you had a mentor who has helped guide you? If so, who and explain their importance.

Curtis: "My uncle was certainly a mentor, but I've also had different mentors. Really some of the people that I first asked for money became mentors for me. What I found out was that the people who have large amounts money have that money for a reason. They're very smart, they're hard workers, they're intelligent, they have great experiences. Two or three of our top donors became my mentors because we developed a relationship outside of them simply reaching into their pockets and donating dollars.

But also, the main people that have become mentors for me are those I've worked with in a local church. Before I started Project 117, I was also working part-time at a local nonprofit. I gained a lot of great experiences through those positions."

Question 5: How do you manage growth while also maintaining sustainability?

Curtis: "I think with fundraising and by leading a nonprofit or a business of any kind that serves people, you have to strive to stay relational. I really value trying to stay in contact in different ways with different people, whether that person is a volunteer, a donor, or someone who has gone on a trip [to Haiti]. The goal is to just stay in front of people as much as possible. I mean, everyone only has so much time in a day, so you have to prioritize, but you try to really value the relationships. I see that as the key to sustainability, because the goal is to keep people on with you as long as possible. Obviously, turnover is natural. In fact, of our original board members, two of them are still with the organization. Two others have actually gone on to start their own nonprofits that serve in Haiti.

But it comes back to being relational. A big deal for us lately has been to challenge ourselves to grow outside of our comfort zone. Our big vision is to build multiple schools in Haiti, and even start schools in countries all around the world. So, we can't just stay local. We have to challenge ourselves and grow our awareness and our funding. I think growth is very intentional. You can't grow without taking strategic steps towards legitimate growth. One of the things we've done recently was to create a Five-Year Plan that describes four main goals we need to accomplish to build our second school within five years. And then within each of those main goals, we have different measurable objectives. So the key to growth is to have small targets that help you get to the big goal."

Question 6: For those motivated to start a nonprofit or a business that makes an impact but are scared to begin, what advice would you give them?

Curtis: "At the risk of just making it too simple...Just take one step. That's what you have to do. And what that step is might be different depending on what you are wanting to do or who you are as an individual. So, for me, it was just reaching out to the art teacher and talking about the organization. So it all comes back to just taking the first step and inviting people to go with you along the way. I think you need to develop a clear vision, but you have to start first. You can't get stuck in the idea of doing something."

Question 7: What challenges have you experienced since starting Project 117? And how did you approach them? Were there any big failures?

Curtis: "Yeah, there have been big failures. But some of the biggest challenges have been the challenges that arise from people. There have been really difficult moments when you have to ask someone not to be a part of what you are doing. Or there have been challenges in Haiti. For example. there was a lot of gang activity in our area, or just stuff going on that I heard about that made me question whether this was the right thing to do. So it was really just trying to decide what the right time was to act for us, for the organization. There have been a lot of challenges in regards to the organization.

But the biggest thing is just the people. Getting everyone on the same page, getting everyone plugged in in the right way, trying to figure out how to distribute responsibility without micromanaging. That's something I struggled with early on. Being a visionary-type person, you can have a very clear vision for something and it can be very personal for you, and the danger can be that you will hold it too tight in your hands and not let others run with it. That was definitely something that I struggled with early on...Just equipping other people to run with the vision. That's certainly been it.

And something that I've learned is that not everyone is going to run after this for twenty years like I expect myself to do. There are going to be multiple people who are just in this for a short period. One of the couples that we started this with ended up going into a nonprofit that they've started, which is a wonderful thing. But in the midst of that, you're bummed because you're losing a group that shared in the vision with you.

One of our bigger failures was one of our first fundraisers. At the time, we decided to go after this huge $200k fundraiser for our biggest building. We determined those plans as a Board of Directors and started taking the steps, but the fundraiser was just a complete flop. We didn't have the right donor base at the time, we didn't have the right training, I wasn't educated enough as a leader to help my team...and I'm still learning. But what I've really found out is that it's really important to make sure that the plan isn't just my plan. It has to be the right next step for the organization, and how you achieve that next step isn't necessarily one specific step. I believe there are multiple ways to achieve a specific goal."

Question 8: Talk about the importance of your team. How did you bring them together? Were they all immediately receptive to the idea?

Curtis: "Early on, it was those people that were very close with Haiti that I had gone on trips with through my church. They were passionate about Haiti and connected to me through my church. After that, we did a Vision Call Night where we invited about 20 people, and we landed on about 8 people that were on the founding Board of Directors. So, early on it was friends and family that were passionate about Haiti.

For Project 117, we do a 2-year term for our board members. After that initial term, we saw some of those initial people leave. At that time, our needs had changed as an organization, and the future we've gone through this process, the more intentional we've become about how we select our board members. We've found that we search for people who have different networks so that it allows us to grow our base even larger. You should really just look for your "Shakers and Movers". There's that adage that says, "Show me your friends and I'll show you future". Just look for people are successful, passionate, and of high character, and you will become like them. Then, through that process, your organization will become like them.

Then one other thing that I've learned is that not everyone needs to be a board member. Not everyone needs to go on a trip. Everyone has their place, and as a leader it is really important for me to help people discover where they fit within our organization. For me, that's been a big deal in the past year....just recognizing talents and passions, and then helping those people use those talents. Something that we've developed within our school is what we're calling a "Leadership Pipeline" where we develop leaders from within to move up our ladder. The beauty of this is that these people understand the culture of our organization and the culture of our school, and then they can move into a new position within our school. We then help them develop the talents and skills and abilities. Then we can give other people opportunities."

Questions 9: Are there any books that have changed your perspective and helped you along the way?

Curtis: "One book that has been great towards Project 117 was The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. This is an awesome book on organizational health. We actually used a lot of information from this book in our Board Member retreat back in December, and I've been touching on this book throughout the last year, just pulling different points from it. I believe you have to have a healthy team of people, and you have to really know what your core values are if you're going to stay consistent as you continue to develop and grow towards the future.

A book about Haiti that I've found really inspiring is called "Mountains Beyond Mountains". It's about Dr. Paul Farmer, who started a health organization in Haiti in the same region where Project 117 started. Just reading about his stories and the passion he had for the oppressed and the poor, and his vision for inspiring the poor to overcome their challenges...all of that has been really inspiring for me. Additionally, just reading about a guy that started a small organization that grew to be a huge international group. I found that really inspiring.

A really great spiritual book that I've read recently is called The Return of the Prodigal Son. It was just one of the most impactful books on faith that I've ever read. It really struck a cord with me because it spoke to this view of God as a father, and that really spoke with me because I lost my father in middle school. So this idea of God as a father who cares and provides regardless if you're chasing the things of the world or if you're struggling with other things, God's there and in the midst of your circumstance. So, that was a great spiritual guiding book for me."

Question 10: What's one thing that you still struggle with as a leader of Project 117?

Curtis: "Surrendering responsibility. One of my strengths is responsibility. I tend to be a person that owns what I do. I give all of myself to my goals. On one hand, that's health trait to possess because I take initiative and own responsibility, but at the same time, too much of a good thing can be bad. Sometimes I put too much responsibility of performance or the results of others on my shoulders. So definitely surrendering responsibility to other people or to God or to whatever it is."

Question 11: How do you define success?

Curtis: "For me, it's pretty simple. It's living the story that I was created to tell. I am very passionate about his idea that everyone was created on purpose and for a purpose. Everyone has a unique story to tell. I define my own success as stepping into the story that God has prepared for me or that's laid out before me for that day. I don't quantify it by money or even the number of schools that I'll help build one day or the number of kids I have...I don't define it by that. It's much broader for me, I guess."

Question 12: What is the one thing you would do differently? Would you change anything? Or do you see the mistakes you've made as learning opportunities?

Curtis: "I tend to resonate with the latter part of that question. I see myself as someone who can learn from any experience, whether it's failure or success, so there's not a lot that I would change. There are things that I need to do differently moving forward, and there are definitely things that I've learned from in the past. Looking back, one of the things that I wish I would have done earlier was distribute responsibility to other people. And then also just learning how to follow up with people based on who they are and how they like to interact. That's a big challenge: treating each person a little bit differently."

End of Interview.

As you can see, Curtis Stout is an inspiring and life-changing individual who exudes both passion and integrity. I learned a lot from this interview about channeling your passion and motivation into a achievable set of goals, but more importantly I learned that with hard work and the right people around you, it's possible to make a lasting impact in the lives of others. Curtis has helped educate dozens of children, and his longterm goals include hundreds of other children around the world. I look forward to watching him grow his organization, and I'm excited to help out in any way that I can.

If you'd like to learn more about Project 117, go to www.p117.org

April 11, 2016

Perseverance -- Channeling Your Motivation to Create Continued Action

Examples of perseverance can be found in each of our daily lives, from the work we put into a job even though the outlook of promotion is dim to our physical fitness routine that has yet to provide any visible results. We persevere when bad weather threatens to cancel an outdoor birthday party. We persevere when we go through a rough time in our marriages and we must fight for its longevity. As a species that has fought for survival for hundreds of thousands of years, we are hardwired to persevere.

Merriam-Webster defines perseverance as "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures, or opposition". Looking at this description, it is interesting to note that the core force behind persevering is simply effort. It's not age, height, race, intelligence, or even birth status. It's sweat and pure desire. Those who have been successful have, more times than not, faced tremendous failure in their lives, and they've been forced to persevere through that failure.

A number of tremendously successful individuals have experienced their fair share of failure. As motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins said, "People are rewarded in public for what they do for years in private". What this means is that we often see the fruit of someone's effort but rarely do we understand the struggle that the individual went through to achieve that success, nor do we know the number of times that they failed. Here is a list of people who have truly embraced the power of perseverance:

1. Walt Disney - The mind behind the beloved Mickey Mouse and so many others once experienced a slew of failures in his career. In 1919, Disney was fired from a Kansas City newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas". Shortly after, he bought out an animation company called Laugh-O-Gram, which ultimately succumbed to Disney's lack of financial responsibility and went bankrupt. It wasn't until Walt Disney closed the business and moved to California that he experienced success. Using the lessons learned from a failed business, Disney founded the Walt Disney Co.

2. Henry Ford - We all know the name behind one of the most successful automotive companies in the world, and you may even know that Ford was the creative mind behind using the assembly line as well as the five-day workweek to increase productivity. But Ford was not an overnight success. Have you ever heard of the Detroit Automobile Company? Unless you're a Ford historian, probably not. This was the first car company founded by Henry Ford, and it went bankrupt shortly after its creation. Later, he founded the Henry Ford Company. While this bears his name, it was not the Ford Company we've come to know. This business went under as well (eventually being bought out and changed to Cadillac), but Ford was allowed to leave the company with the rights to the name.

3. Kyle Maynard - Kyle's name may not be one that you are familiar with, as he is not quite as famous as Henry Ford or Walt Disney. That being said, I strongly suggest that you Google his name and learn his story, because it encapsulates the true essence of perseverance better than any story I've heard. Kyle was born with a condition known as congenital amputation, meaning that his arms and legs end right about where another person's elbows or knee caps would be. Do you think this has stopped Kyle from living a normal life? No, quite the contrary. Kyle Maynard has used this situation to propel himself to accomplish wonderful feats of human strength and motivation. When he was only 11-years-old, he played football on his local team. He's fought in mixed martial arts, he's become a world-renowned public speaker, and he recently became the first quadruple amputee to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetic limbs.

These are only three examples of the power of perseverance, but the list goes on and on. Jim Carrey was once booed off stage before making it big. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was turned down by 12 publishers before finally being accepted. Multi-platinum rap artist Jay-Z was rejected by every record label in the business before he started his own label and went on to sell over a million records of his debut album.

What do all of these people have in common? Were they all born with a different strand in their DNA that enabled them to achieve success where others have failed? Of course not. They simply refused to give up. They put forth the effort that was necessary until they accomplished what they had set out to do. Failing, to these people and to everyone who achieves their goals, does not make them a failure. Instead, Henry Ford and Walt Disney used their failed businesses as opportunities to learn and grow. They took those lessons and continued on.

So look at what it is that you truly desire. What dream is deep inside of you that you've been too afraid to announce or share with your friends and family? And maybe it's something that you've already attempted but failed at. Good....That means you're one step closer to success. But you have to be willing to get back up and try again. I know there's a piece of you that wants to accomplish that goal, but you have to be willing to persevere. You have to be willing to try again and fail. Because living a life filled with fear and constant caution is no life at all. So go...try...fail....and persevere.

Daniel Moffett

April 4, 2016

Using Motivation to Lead a Movement -- with Jason Donnelly

This week, I decided to interview a good friend of mine, Jason Donnelly. I first met Jason Donnelly in the basement of a small bank nearly two years ago as he talked about the health and nutrition company that he works for, Advocare. I expected him to simply try to convince my wife and I to purchase the products, but instead he told us about how he spent his first few years out of high school working at a factory, and then later laying asphalt for roads and driveways. This type of work was not only hard on Jason physically, but more importantly it kept him away from his two daughters for long periods of time throughout the week. He spoke about how the burning desire to be a stay-at-home dad had motivated him to start selling the health and nutrition products part-time. In only a few short years, Jason turned this small income into a full-time position, one that now allows him to stay home with his children. He no longer misses important schools events. He does not have to punch a clock for twelve hours a day or spend weeks burning in the hot sun as he shovels another load of rock. 

In the process of growing his business, Jason has created a following of thousands. The team he has developed beneath him spans numerous neighborhoods, cities, and even multiple states, but Jason has found a way to work each individual differently and still create a culture of success.

How does he do it? What makes Jason such a great leader for the thousands of men and women beneath him? And now that he has been so successful and has accomplished his initial goals, what continues to motivate him to push forward? These are the questions I asked, and I hope you enjoy his answers.

Question 1: What was the initial motivation behind starting such a large movement?

Jason: "In many direct-sales companies, women are the drivers of those businesses. In fact, nearly 80% of all people involved in direct-sales are women. But when I was introduced to Advocare, I saw three men who were leading and who had created full-time incomes through their business.

 But my interest in doing it was that I was laid off from my asphalt job for the winter, I was unemployed, and I saw it as an opportunity to make part-time income instead of having to go out and get a part-time job. I could do it on my own time.

Question 2: As your business began to grow, talk about any doubts or fears you experienced. How did you combat those fears?

Jason: "There are a lot of fears. Before I began, I was not someone of influence, in my own opinion. My background was construction. Prior to that, I was in factories. So, I did not have a huge network of people to tap into, and those fears were, 'Would people listen? Would people follow? Would they do what I do? Would they buy into what I say'

 And honestly, I accidently starting getting success through my fears. What I mean by that is that I would start getting results on products and my friends and family starting getting results, and by the time that I began to feel those fears of doubt, I looked up and I was already leading a small group of people. It may sound cheesy, but that phrase 'You fake it till you make it." You look up and you're leading small organization of people.

Question 3: Now that you have such a large group, how have your goals changed?

Jason:  That's a transition that people either fear or they step up to the plate, and I've kind of gone through all of those phases. And there's a huge difference between my initial goal of making $300 a month selling products to my friends in the gym to being a leader and changing lives either physically or financially. I'm a huge leader with really no leadership to look to in my are for Advocare, and that can be incredibly scary. I realized that it was no longer about just myself. Now, it's about the challenge of leading others through their struggles. And we're all so different. My personality may not connect with a different personality type. So that's probably the most difficult thing.

 So you really have to decide, 'Do you really want to grow?' It was scary. The higher levels of success bring on so much more responsibility, and it took me nearly three years to decide that I wanted to grow to the highest level.

Question 4: How does the motivation play a role in your success? Why do you some people succeed while others fail?

Jason: I think a lot of that has to do with, 'What motivates you'? For me, my motivation changed from making $300 a month to the possibility of being a stay-at-home father, which is something that I've always wanted to do.

There was a time when I actually became complacent in my business. I had accomplished all of the large goals I had set for myself. But there are others factors that motivate me outside of money. There's a competitive nature inside of me that when people tell me, 'You can't do this', I like to go out and do it anyway. When I learned what I had my hands, I became very competitive in facing adversity. People in my community told me that I wouldn't be successful in this business. Looking beyond just what I do, I know that that very few people make it to the highest level in any profession. You can be a journalist, but very few people write for The Wall Street Journal. But just reading personal development books, self-help books, biographies of successful people...All of these people have a common theme of adversity before they reached success.

 Knowing that, I knew I would face adversity. But I accepted that. And when people told me that I would fail, I thought 'I already know a little something about you in that you quit trying a long time ago'. And that may or may not sound offensive, but it's true. I had to realize that outside opinion does not matter. These individuals quit dreaming.

 So the motivation carried me all the way through the doubts. I set goals and accomplished them. And you have to reevaluate your goals. You either reevaluate or quit. As you do that, do not just focus on the destination. You have to learn to love the process and the journey. Don't just celebrate the big wins. Celebrate the team victories, the team wins. Because in the end, if I'm the only one who is successful, what does it matter? So I can be alone at the top? That's not success. Once you taste your own success, people often quit. They never help others succeed.

 And why do others fail? It's understanding what you're doing this for. Money is not a motivation. You don't work your butt off so you have a nice figure in your account. You work your butt of so you can't use that money in a beneficial way. Why do you want to make $5,000 a month? To replace your job? Well, that's not good enough. The reality is, if all you're doing is trying to replace your crappy job, what's the purpose? So you can go home and be bored to death?  Is it because you want to spend more time with your kids or your spouse? Why are you doing this? Find a purpose bigger than yourself.

 And a lot of people are so scared to dream. They're afraid to have dreams because they're told so often they'll never accomplish them. Look at when we had the billion dollar Powerball Lotto. Everyone was showing their dreams all of a sudden. They're saying, 'Oh, I'd leave my job tomorrow and spend a week in Cancun or Thailand'. Sure you were, but if the Lotto wasn't an option, you would be so scared to say those things because people would look at you like you're ridiculous.

 So the difference is, some people are willing to dream. And I am willing to dream and I surround myself with dreamers. You're the average of the five people you spend the most time around.

Question 5: How do you set your goals? Are they long-term (1-3 years) or short term? And once you have the goals, how do you take action?

Jason: I have embraced large long-term goals, and I believe I will accomplish those goals in two years. How I do it is, I set for long-term goals. But then you have to set the road map. Because you can say you want to accomplish this huge goal but if you don't take action, those are just words. I can go home and write that goal on my whiteboard at home. But what does it take? So you have go say, "This is my goal. But here are the smaller goals I need to accomplish this year to reach that. And here are the goals in the next six month. And then here are goals I need to accomplish in the next 30 days, and then two weeks."

And you have to realize that you may not accomplish those six-months goals. But you have to create smaller blocks of time where you're working on smaller goals. So my goal is two years, but I have to break it down. If I do that over the two years, I'll reach that goal. It's about the work you put in. A successful person is not someone sitting at home dreaming about how they'll spend on the money they want to make.

 Breaking down these large goals alleviates some of the fear of being so successful. And you have to take the action. It comes down to, 'Start reading the right books and stop watching two hours of television at night. Like, read 15 pages out a book. It's the slight edge of the things that are so easy to do but so easy not to do. It's incredibly easy to pick up a self-help book and read the lessons within those pages. But it's incredibly easy to push it off until tomorrow. Or I'll read it when I'm on the bus. But people refuse to read it instead of watching Grey's Anatomy. People that will do the easy stuff...it builds on top of each other.

Question 6: Now that you've accomplished your initial goal, what motivates you to continue?

Jason: In order for me to maintain as a stay-at-home dad, I have to go out and continue to build. I can't just sit on the accomplishments I've had. I'm looking for like-minded people. And then I have to establish that growth.

 Let's say I wanted to take a food chain and make it the most successful burger joint in the country. And I wanted to make Jason Donnelly Burgers consistent across the nation, I have to make the process duplicatable. So if I can go and help build these other locations, the processes are the same...it helps build my brand.

 So if I can train those beneath myself, it helps them grow and it's a reflection of me. Even though the men and women beneath me are in charge of their own responsibilities, it's about building leaders beneath you. And once you do that, go out and find more people and build them up. It's about finding the 5, 6, or 7 people that are willing to work, and once you've found them you have to help get them going. It's no longer about me. It's about helping the team win. If you don't help those beneath you, you're setting yourself up for failure.

Question 7: What is the one thing you struggle with in terms of leading so many people?

Jason:  Originally, it was boundaries. In the very beginning, it was the mentality of 'I'm always open for business'. My wife and kids were incredibly important to me, they almost took a back-burner to someone txting me and asking me about products. Or it was this guy that I would meet with and talk with, but then I wouldn't hear from him for two or three months...he would call me out of the blue wanting me to talk to someone to help close a sale and it would be while I was trying to lay my kids down for bed. And I would take it. And that was stuff that I didn't understand when I first started. There are boundaries that you have to establish. Knowing that it's okay to tell other people "No". My day is Sunday. I don't work on Sunday. I don't care what time it is, Sundays are my family days. I'll stay up as late you need me on Mondays or whatever, but when it's my boundary time, it's my family time. It's Daddy time.

For today, I had to take the time to listen to the people beneath me. They had concerns or questions about creating larger businesses, and my initial response was, "Well, man up and do it yourself". But my second response was to help organize events to help them succeed. So let's set up these things. If it takes me to simply step up, then lets' go. Let's build that structure. But the thing I struggle with the most is getting the leaders to buy into that structure. So it's, 'You asked for it...You wanted it. Here's exactly what you asked for. Will you buy into it?"

The biggest struggle past that is getting others to believe in themselves. I believe in someone so strongly but they don't believe in themselves. So how do I get that point across to somebody? How do you grow other people's confidence? And it's when people won't get out of their own way and surround themselves with better influences. They won't get out of their own way to lead, to be followed by others.

Question 8: How would you describe the role consistency plays in success for you?

Jason: It's everything. It's absolutely everything. Consistency is the number one word I would use to describe successful people in my business. You can do this business badly and still see success. But they were consistent. They consistently showed up and put in the work, even though they didn't fit the traditional mold.

When my business dropped off last year, it was when I quit putting in the work. It's when I coasted. When can you coast on a bicycle? When you're going downhill. You can't coast if you're trying to climb a hill. You can't coast when you're trying to succeed. So consistently trying to do the daily method will help build success. It's the in-and-out work consistently.

Question 9: What books have changed your perspective and helped you succeed?

Jason: One of the first books that blew me away in understanding people and how they relate to direct sales was Go Pro by Eric Worre. It's a book completely about succeeding in network marketing. To relate it to my business, it talks about how you can introduce someone to this business, show them all of the products we offer, show them results, show success...And then pass the responsibility to the individual. So you're eliminating right off of the back and saying that if you fail, it's your fault. Everyone has the same products. The only variable is you.

Another thing I learned from that book is that if someone doesn't do what they said they would or didn't live up to expectations, don't cut them out of your life or treat them differently. No, accept people for where they are because where they are is exactly where they want to be. That's what they're comfortable with. Do you sometimes want to grab people and shake them? Sure...But I've learned to be okay with that. I have to be okay with the idea that some people don't want to dream anymore.

The next book is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. That book is so good because it just gives so many real-world examples of how certain laws are applicable.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is another great book. I'm halfway through that one right now, and it really talks about the perceptions of people's mindset. One Dad in the book teaches his son how to make money work for him and the other Dad teaches his son how to work for money. And once you can break free of that mindset, it's very very freeing. Ya, you might work a job, but you can also make money work for you.

Finally, I would choose the Bible. I would consider the Bible one of the greatest self-help books of all-time. Let's say that you don't believe in God or religion at all...If you read the Bible just as a simple self-help book, it's powerful. There are so many great passages in the Bible. I'm not a largely religious person, but you read the Bible and you realize that you've experienced so many of these things in your life. How does this person get through it?

Question 10: How would you define success?

Jason: Let me start by saying that everyone would define success differently, but I would define success partly by starting with financial success. In that, I wake up and I'm not stressed with any type of debt. I don't anybody anything.

Secondly, if my girls were raised right to accomplish their dreams and their goals, that would be a success for me as a father. My goal is not just to raise good children. My goal as a father is to raise great adults, eventually. I don't want my oldest daughter just to have a great childhood and then fail as an adult. That's not my definition of success as a father.

Success in a different way is not the title that you earn. It's not because you do amazing things in the spotlight. For me, I could earn a ton of money through Advocare but if I can help single mother earn $200 a month to help pay for daycare or so that she can take days off of work to be with his child, that's success for her. Success isn't big bank accounts. It's about influencing others. Success is what makes you happy. Plain and simple

End of Interview