Have you ever driven from your office to your home without ever consciously thinking about driving? Think about it: You managed to safely operate your 2,000-pound car and navigate traffic, follow traffic signals, and make it to your destination—all while being distracted with a gazillion other things.
And yet after it all, you suddenly find yourself pulling in your driveway. You realize that in all the insanity, you nearly forgot where you were going. You never even consciously concentrated on driving home.
Isn’t it amazing that we can do that? We can drive 30 miles across town, have all kinds of distractions, and never once have to think about stopping at this street or turning on that highway.
It all happens automatically; it’s second nature, subconscious activity. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to consciously think about driving home from work. You can instead concentrate on dealing with the phone calls—and one crisis after another—and still manage to pull into your driveway.
That’s what happens when something in your brain becomes second nature. Once you consciously program the directions from your office to your home and make the trip a few times, your subconscious mind will eventually take over and make the trip without your having to think about it.
You can use The Power of Consistency to consciously program your sales and business goals—and the activities necessary to reach those goals—into your mind, and then allow your subconscious to take over. From there, your subconscious mind will help you navigate the twists and turns of a successful sales and business career until eventually you arrive at your goals in the same way you navigate traffic to arrive at your home.
Understanding—and effectively using—The Power of Consistency to program your subconscious mind is the key to the kingdom for your sales and business results. It is the means by which you can reach virtually any goal you set your subconscious mind to. It is how you can create unlimited wealth and prosperity in your business. Eventually, you’ll be able to consciously work on other tasks, such as talking on the phone or solving some pressing problem, while subconsciously making progress toward your business and sales objectives.
What if instead of going from home to work, you replace these two destinations with where you are in life today and where you want to be down the road? What if, for example, you are earning $50,000 a year now and want to earn $150,000?
It is possible to program your subconscious mind to get from one income level to another income level. In the same way you can program your subconscious mind to get you from work to home while you are distracted with other things in life, you can program your subconscious mind to get you from one income level to another while you are distracted with other things in life.
The key is using The Power of Consistency to
1. Identify where you want to end up.
2. Identify the specific directions you need to take to reach this goal (in this case, your desired income level).
3. Program those directions into your subconscious mind on an ongoing basis.
Once you program the directions to reach a particular goal into your subconscious mind, it will work on it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to reach the destination.
And again, it’s not mysticism or magic or anything else. It is simply a matter of how your thoughts drive your emotions, which drive your actions, which drive your results. It’s all about using The Power of Consistency to reprogram your thoughts—in other words, what’s in your box.
Consider for a moment how amazing the human body is. Think about your eyes, arms, legs, ears, and nose, and how your heart pumps and your lungs expand and contract all in perfect unison. It’s truly a miraculous organism. Everything serves a purpose. It’s a very efficient machine. There is no wasted anything.
Now think about this: You have the ability to see amazing things in your mind’s eye. You can dream things that haven’t happened yet and see those dreams in your mind. You can close your eyes and visualize a house that’s not yet built, a relationship that hasn’t yet developed, or an income or a business that hasn’t yet grown.
Even though these things don’t yet exist, you can see every detail if you choose to concentrate on them.
I believe our mind’s ability to see amazing things before they happen serves a function for us—just like our eyes, heart, lungs, and everything other organ do. I believe that we have the ability to close our eyes and dream because it’s the first step toward creating it in our lives.
As Dr. Stephen R. Covey said in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “All things are created twice”—once inside the box and once outside the box.
The bottom line is that you have the ability to close your eyes and dream—and therefore, the ability to take the first step toward leveraging The Power of Consistency and building the sales and business income you deserve.
The key to reaching this goal is to ingrain the directions to where you want to go into your mind until they become second nature, part of the subconscious mind. Once you do that, you can go through the course of your life confident that you are moving closer to the dream every day, automatically making the twists and turns you need to get there.
The reason that this can happen is due to a little part of your brain that is constantly noticing and identifying the resources and opportunities you need to reach your dream. This little part is called the reticular activating system (RAS), and it’s the central reason that your results in life can never exceed your expectations. If you want to change your life or create something better, you have to make sure the RAS is on board with your new program.
The RAS is critical to your survival. It helps you notice threats to your well-being so that you can take appropriate actions to protect yourself. It also helps you become aware of opportunities that are relevant to reaching your dreams.
You can think of the RAS as a kind of net that filters out things that are irrelevant to you and lets in the things that are relevant to you. And as we already know, two people can see the same thing and note something very different about it. In general, we tend to notice what has meaning and significance to us.
For example, let’s say that we’re watching a surfer hit the waves. You may notice right away that he is wearing yellow shorts, whereas I may be oblivious to this detail. They just don’t mean anything to me, whereas they reminded you of your father’s favorite color. The shorts were relevant to you, so you noticed them. They got caught up in your RAS net. But they weren’t caught in mine.
There are millions of things you could notice—sights, sounds, movements, smells—at any given moment in your life. Because your conscious mind cannot possibly process all of them at the same time, your RAS prompts you to pay attention to what’s relevant and ignore what isn’t.
Suppose you are walking down a beautiful trail. You look upon the serene beauty of the mountains, the streams, and the wildlife. You inhale the wildflowers’ sweet fragrance and hear the symphony of birds. Your RAS is taking it all in, noticing all the beauty and serenity and putting you completely at peace.
At that moment, a huge mountain lion leaps from a ledge above you and you are face to face with an animal that could kill you with one swat of its paw.
Are you still noticing the beautiful scenery? Do you still smell the flowers? Probably not. The only thing you notice—and care about—is figuring out how to escape.
That is your RAS at work. When the beauty and serenity of the mountains were relevant to you, you noticed them. But when the mountain lion threatened you, the scenery quickly became irrelevant and you noticed the only thing that mattered: getting out of there. Once you realized that you were in danger, your RAS filtered everything else out since those details didn’t matter anymore.
Imagine eating a huge meal and being so stuffed that you can barely breathe. Do you think it’s possible that in that state you could drive down the main street of your town and go right past every fast-food joint without even noticing them? You bet.
That, again, is your RAS at work. When you don’t need food any longer, it filters out the restaurants, deeming them irrelevant. Think about driving down that same street when you are starving. You’ll notice every burger and chicken joint on the block, since food is now relevant.
The same is true with auditory cues. Have you ever been in an airport with announcements coming over the public address (PA) system? Name after name is broadcast, but you hear nothing but white noise. What do you suppose your RAS would do if your name was announced over the PA system? Would you notice it? Of course you would, because your name is relevant to you.
I’ve always been a news and politics junkie. Even during the years I was in prison, I can remember watching the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS. I also remember turning the channel right past news stories on taxes and our national debt, because at the time those issues had no significance to me. I was broke and in prison. Problems with debt and taxes were completely irrelevant to my life at that time, so my RAS filtered it out.
I never skip over stories on those topics today, however, because they’re now very relevant to my life and business. And right on cue, my RAS makes sure I don’t miss that information.
The RAS’s job of filtering out of irrelevant information and capturing relevant information has enormous implications for your ability to create wealth in sales and business.
Imagine your income expectation is a middle income of $50,000 a year. During your childhood, your family and the neighbors were middle-income families, as was everyone you knew in your socioeconomic circle. As a result, middle income is in your box—and that’s pretty much what you expect to make.
Then suppose a million-dollar opportunity crossed your career path. Do you think your RAS might be inclined to filter out that opportunity as irrelevant? Of course it could. In fact, it’s very likely that you’ll miss big opportunities if your subconscious perceives them as irrelevant to your life and career.
Therefore, if you want to notice those incredible opportunities, you have to make sure that they’re in your box, thereby keeping your RAS from labeling them as irrelevant. As we work through this first step, you will have the opportunity to identify what you want in your career and to put those things in your box.
In addition to dismissing irrelevant information, your RAS can often reject information that you disagree with or that challenges what you believe. In essence, your RAS will take in information that reinforces your beliefs and will ignore anything that challenges them.
Suppose, for example, you believe that price is the most important factor prospects weigh when making a purchasing decision. Price sensitivity is in your box. If that’s your basic belief and attitude, you will notice every instance where price is an issue, and those are likely the experiences you remember and talk about. You essentially notice the events that reinforce your basic belief system.
But what about the times your prospects don’t buy on price? Do you remember those instances, or do you write them off as anomalies or refer to them as the occasional “lay-down” who buys without any objections or price resistance? You are likely to remember the events that reinforce your basic views and expectations.
The reality is that both sides of everything are out there. The “economy sucks” is out there, and the “economy is good” is out there. “Customers buy on price” is out there, and “customers buy on value” is out there. The question is which one do you notice? Which one reinforces your expectations and beliefs? Either way, you will prove yourself right.
In other words, your RAS notices information that proves you right and discounts any that proves you wrong. This is why you are pretty much right 100 percent of the time! Your RAS essentially goes out into the world and accumulates all the information that reinforces what you already believe, which is why your career and business are self-fulfilling prophecies. Ask yourself how often you are surprised by what happens in your sales and business career. Don’t prospects pretty much behave the way you expect them to? Don’t you lose the sales you expect to lose and win the ones you expect to win?
The answer is likely yes, because expectations always drive your results. If you want to change your results, you have to change your expectations.
The RAS is a powerful part of your life. It has the potential to create amazing things, but it’s also a double-edged sword in its ability to destroy potential and opportunity. Like so many other invisible forces in life, we don’t completely understand it, and therefore we often discount its importance in helping create the sales and business results we desire.
Once you understand the RAS’s two basic functions—to dismiss irrelevant information and notice relevant information and to reinforce what you already believe—then things get really interesting.
Your box holds your basic belief system about business and wealth, along with any thoughts and expectations about your professional success. Everything you believe—as well as the things you expect to happen—are all right there. And we know that whatever is in your box will eventually be proved right.
The problem is that the RAS will find information to prove you right—even if you are wrong.
You see, the RAS is a filter, but it doesn’t have a filter. It reinforces whatever you already believe, for better or for worse. It doesn’t discriminate against things that are inaccurate reflections of reality. Remember, if you think something is true, it’s true—even if it’s not true.
In that way, your RAS will prove you right, even if you’re wrong.
If you think you can prosper in a bad economy, you will notice ways that you can prosper, such as when you earn a prospect’s trust and business by focusing on value, quality, and service. If you think you cannot prosper in a bad economy, you will notice the things that prove you right, such as the times when a prospect works you over and gives you the order only after you drop your price.
Again, both scenarios are out there, the issue is, what do you notice?
That’s why two completely reasonable people can see the same situation so differently. Both are adamant and passionate about their views. They can’t believe the other person can’t see what is so obvious to them. Each person has different junk in the trunk, and each person’s RAS is programmed to prove him or her right—even when wrong!
This is where the RAS can completely take over your life, for better or for worse, because it’s going to prove your beliefs right.
Suppose you work in sales, and you’re feeling lately like the economy sucks. You assume that the only way you can sell your products in this down economy is to lower your prices. Do you think that your RAS might go out into the world and notice the information that proves you right? Of course it will. You will notice with keen sensitivity anytime a prospect objects to price, which will drive your overall expectations.
Even if a customer buys from you without asking for a discount, you will dismiss it as an anomaly, because that does not comport with your basic view of customers. In fact, your RAS will have you remembering the customer who demanded a discount for weeks, while instantly forgetting the customer who didn’t.
The good news is that this reality works in the opposite direction too. A person with very positive beliefs and expectations will almost instantly forget a negative situation that does not reinforce his or her mindset and remember a positive situation that does. If you believe that there are still customers out there who are willing to pay for superior service and quality despite the tough economy, you’re likely to encounter information that proves you right. Moreover, you will remember the experiences that reinforce your beliefs and expectations and dismiss as anomalies experiences that do not.
The reality is that both a bad and a good economy—and both good customers and bad customers—are out there. Which ones will you notice and use to define your basic expectations?
How you program your RAS over the long term will determine your answer to this question.
That’s why your sales results will never exceed your sales expectations. Your RAS is going to prove your expectations right every time.
The unfortunate news is that many of us have very limiting expectations in our box. And once they are in there, they drastically limit what we can achieve and create. Without a process to get the bad stuff out and replace it with unlimited expectations, we frequently find ourselves stuck. So when you consider that we all have some negative stuff in our trunk—and that our RAS will notice things to continue to prove them accurate—it’s easy to see how a less-than-fulfilling sales and business career can perpetuate itself. We get junk in our trunks, it comes true (and we notice and remember it), and we grow more pessimistic about life, thereby putting more junk in the trunk that the RAS again proves right.
It’s a vicious cycle.
When I was a kid, my dad used to say, “Rich people are crooks. No one becomes rich without screwing a few folks along the way.” That was something put in his box somewhere along the way, and something that he then put it into my box. Thus, I grew up being very suspicious of successful, wealthy people. I’d see someone with a nice car, big home, or successful company, and I’d find myself saying, “Wonder who they screwed?”
It never occurred to me that honest, hardworking people build successful companies and live in beautiful homes. I always thought they spent their time screwing people. That’s what was in my box.
It therefore doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me, looking back over my life, that when I wanted nice things, I didn’t see the problem with breaking the law to get them. After all, rich people are crooks, and if I needed to break the rules to get ahead, so be it. I believed that’s how successful people became successful. Obviously, my father was in no way responsible for the destructive and criminal lifestyle I chose. My father was a hardworking, career military man who looked with disdain at the life I led.
I’m just saying that you can occasionally put something in other people’s boxes that they might bring to fruition. Not because they believe it’s right, but because the RAS is so powerful at making thoughts seem accurate.
For instance, have you ever known a kid who was told, “You’ll never amount to anything” or “You’re stupid”? How many times have you seen that prophecy come true?
Once we get things in our heads we tend to prove them right—for better or for worse.
The key to creating wealth in sales and business is figuring out what’s in your box, getting the bad stuff out, putting good stuff in, and letting your RAS prove you right in a good way. Once you understand how your RAS works, it’s easy to see the role it plays in the quality and circumstances of your sales and business career.
So unless you want to miss out on amazing opportunities, you’d better make sure your mind is programmed to think anything is possible. Otherwise, the opportunity of a lifetime can go right past you.
Talk to any really successful person you know, and that person will tell you that wealth, prosperity, and success are very often the intersection of timing and opportunity. Of course, working hard and capitalizing on the opportunity are necessary, but finding the opportunity at the right time is critical.
I have seen this countless times in my life and business. As I look back over the key opportunities I’ve had, I know it’s impossible to ignore how I stumbled into the right opportunity at the right time. I wish I could tell you I single-handedly created my companies from sheer genius, but the truth is, most of my success has resulted from timing and opportunity.
Did I capitalize on the opportunities? Absolutely. But first I had to notice them. More accurately, my RAS first had to notice them and perceive them as relevant to my life. Fortunately, I harness The Power of Consistency to program wealth and prosperity into my subconscious, so I did not miss the opportunities to make those dreams a reality.
The first company I started in 2004 was a heating and air-conditioning company—a business that exploded over the first few years. In our first year, we generated $2 million in sales; we generated $3.5 million in our second year and $7 million in our third year—making a total of more than $20 million in sales in our first 60 months. In 2009, Inc. magazine recognized our company as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America.
Now it might be tempting for me to tell you this success proves how brilliant I am, but the reality is that it was timing and opportunity. The market was right. The right people were available. I just caught the wave.
The more success I have in life, the more I am convinced that it’s all about timing and opportunity—being in the right place at the right time. The key is noticing the opportunity at the right time and perceiving it as relevant to your life, which means making sure your RAS is programmed to do so.
If my expectation had been to get a job, I would have seen my sales success as “mission accomplished.” I would have reached my goal of getting a job and stopped right there.
But because I had spent years conditioning my subconscious with beliefs and expectations that I would be a successful entrepreneur, I looked beyond my sales success to see the potential for success as an entrepreneur in the heating and air-conditioning industry. I saw the business opportunity in an industry that was fractured and disorganized because my RAS was searching for a business opportunity. Had I been searching for a sales job, that’s all I would have found.
Furthermore, because I had also programmed my RAS to be on the lookout for speaking and sales training opportunities within my industry, I noticed several opportunities for me to do that too. As a result, I am now recognized as one on the nation’s foremost experts on the “residential kitchen-table sales process.” I don’t say that to impress you. I say it to impress upon you the power of programming your RAS to be on the lookout for new opportunities to create wealth and prosperity.
It’s like that old joke about always finding your car keys in the last place you look. Once you find what you’re looking for, it’s human nature to stop looking. You’ve got to program your RAS to be on the lookout for unlimited success and prosperity in your sales and business career, because once you reach your goal, your RAS will stop looking for new opportunities unless you give it something else to look for.
Your RAS won’t be able to filter out new opportunities as irrelevant. If you expect amazing things in your life, your RAS will prove you right.
As you work through the remainder of this book, you will learn the step-by-step process for creating your prosperity plan and how to implement that plan on a consistent basis. That’s really where the rubber meets the road: You have to do what you outline in your plan. I am going to teach you a simple process that will keep you on track to achieving your dreams.
This process requires that you take a look inside your box, get the bad stuff out, and replace it with a ton of good stuff. This will allow you to alter your expectation of what’s possible for you.
Once you change your thoughts, your emotions will follow—and as you know, actions and results will be right on their heels.
As you begin making progress toward your dreams, you will also be programming your subconscious mind to expect the amazing things you outline in your prosperity plan. You will map out the directions to prosperity, and the journey will eventually become second nature. Moreover, you will establish expectations that your RAS will facilitate. You will begin to notice opportunities that you would have previously missed. With these new opportunities firmly in focus—and the expectation that you will create wealth, happiness, and peace of mind in your life and business—the career and business of your dreams will begin to take shape. You deserve wealth and prosperity, and the process we are going to work through will help you create them.
Once you complete the process and begin implementing the plan, you will notice an immediate shift in your emotions, growing confidence, and more lofty goals and expectations. You’ll begin to expect better things, and you’ll begin to believe that you can achieve any level of success and prosperity in your life and business.
Perhaps most important, you will find yourself strengthened and empowered to do the little things you need to do on a consistent basis to create new levels of prosperity and success in your sales career.
The process of changing what’s in your box is critical. To do so, we will use the upside of FEAR process:
I mentioned earlier in this book how fear governed my life, thereby compelling me to actually attract the things I feared into it. That was the downside of fear.
The upside of FEAR process is the process of getting your mind right and programming it for wealth, happiness, and peace of mind in your life and business. Once it’s programmed deep in your subconscious mind, you will find your way there—just like you find your way home from work without consciously thinking about it.
I vividly remember the moment I realized how powerful the subconscious conditioning process is. It took place long before any external changes in my life. The transformation started inside as I began to notice a powerful emotional shift.
It was only a few days after I began the process of reviewing my prosperity plan during what I call a daily quiet-time ritual. I was walking laps within the perimeter of the cell house, as I often did for exercise, when suddenly I was overcome with a powerful sense of hopefulness and confidence that my life was about to drastically change.
Out of nowhere—despite facing years more in prison and a very bleak future—I began to feel a sense of excitement and enthusiasm. After just a few days of embracing more positive, empowering, and hopeful thoughts, my underlying emotions began to change.
I was overwhelmed with the belief that great things were going to happen in my life. I changed my thoughts by changing the contents of my box, and by doing so, I changed the way I felt. Eventually those new emotions triggered different actions, which of course eventually led to different results. Next thing you know, everything had changed—for the better.
I truly believe that you will have a similar experience. Obviously, everyone’s dreams are different. But whatever yours are, you will begin to experience powerful emotions as you articulate those dreams in a clear concise fashion. As you review them during your daily quiet-time ritual, you will find yourself acting in a manner consistent with the things you want in life and business. And as you do this, you will find yourself creating the results that you want and deserve.
You will place the income and career you desire into your box, piece by piece, dream by dream. Then you will begin pulling the new results out of your box—step by step, moment by moment, and day by day.
You will find it easier to do the things you already know you should be doing. You will find your willpower and confidence to stay on track with your dreams strengthened.
And even before you and others see the physical manifestations of your thoughts in your income and career, you will experience new emotions that lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding life. You’ll start feeling better, more confident, and more hopeful.
As you work through The Power of Consistency, you will outline your prosperity plan, and you will begin to see amazing things happen.