The key to becoming the most successful you can be is your emotions. This is what Willpower Harris found to be true in life. Will is a strategic planning and business coach for elite entrepreneurs and CEOs. He is also the international best-selling author of WillPower Now and Power Prospecting, and used to work for Zig Ziglar and Motorola as the Director of Global Sales Training. Today, he joins Robert "Fireman Rob" Verhelst on the show to share his five core values to making the best better. You are not meant to stagnate. Listen to this episode to discover how you can grow further and impact the planet for the better.
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The Core Values To Making Your Best Better With Willpower Harris
I have a guest whose parents must have known what he was going to get into when he was young because they named him Will. He is now Willpower Harris. He's an international bestselling author. He worked for Zig Ziglar. He has been the Motorola Director of Global Sales, and now he is impacting millions and millions of lives throughout the globe. Will, thank you so much for joining me.
Thanks for having me, Rob. I appreciate it.
You have many great quotes. I've watched many of your videos, finding out more of how you transitioned yourself into this powerful person talking about willpower on perspective.
First of all, I believe that when you are true to your authentic self, when you don't walk around trying to be a good somebody else and a knock off of somebody else, life would take you down this path. When I look back on it, that one step was a major leap out of the norm. It was a continuing process of me trying to stick to myself. I started off in the motivational world of Mr. Ziglar. I wanted to be a motivational speaker, Rob. I wanted to hear them scream my name. In one of my sessions, I even have it. I have one group of people say, “Will.” Another group of people say, “Power.” It’s like, “Willpower.” One group, I have them say, “Will.” I get a whole group of people screaming my name.
That's how I started off but I started telling other people's stories and it felt less authentic because it wasn't my story. I left the Zig Ziglar Corporation and figured I’d get into sales training. From there, I climbed up the corporate ladder and ended up working for Motorola Solutions, traveling all over the world. In 2012, I peaced out because they told me to leave but in the nicest of way. I got laid off because that's when Motorola Solutions was starting to go through their down period. My last day at Motorola, I flipped and made them my clients. It was my dream job then because I didn't have to keep any of the stuff I didn't like, only my passion. I was rock and rolling from there.
Certain things in life happen for a reason. A lot of times, we're not meant to know, but you knew because you turned them into a client. One of the things that I love, and you've had this in a few of your different videos, was use what you love to fight what you hate. Tell us more about what that means.
I believe that the key to finding your life purpose, the key to being the most successful you can be is your emotions. I'll tell you a story of how that came about. There was a lady in Seattle and I worked with her husband at Motorola. She became depressed because she was a mid-level manager at Microsoft. She got sick and the doctors didn't know what was wrong with her. She couldn't work. Her dream, her passion had always been to be a manager in a nice organization. Her dream was gone. This lady was getting depressed. Her husband knew that I was into positivity. He asked me to speak to her when I was coming through Seattle. I said to the lady, “I don't know anyone who used the formula that I'm about to tell you who didn't have happiness on their saddest day, didn't have all the money that they wanted eventually and didn't wake up every day feeling like they were contributing to the world.”
The lady said, “What is it? What is that formula?” I said, “Use what you love to fight what you hate. What's something that you love to do that requires skill?” You may love being with your friends or your family but that doesn't require a skill. What's something that you hate and evil in the world, an injustice that when you see it, you start talking about it, people are like, “Rob, we get it. Calm down. We know it's bad. It sucks?” You have to hate that thing as much as you love that other thing. That thing that you love so much that you would do for free. When you combine the two, that's the passion. For this lady, her love was cookies, pastries, and baking. That was her love, her passion. The thing that she hated and make her cry, she couldn't even watch it on TV was any time that she saw battered spouses, battered women, people who were beat up in the views.
You normally don't put cookies and getting your butt whipped together at the same time. You wouldn't do that because that's the way our human mind works. My mind is a little crazy, Rob. I said, “Why don't we do this? Use what you love to fight what you hate. Why don't you start baking cookies, pastries for the local battered women's shelter and donate those to them?” She did that. When she did it, she immediately had joy because she was doing her passion and it felt she was contributing. The local news did a report on her, “Ex-Microsoft executive donates time and cookies to charity.” The Bill Gates Foundation gave her a grant. Now this lady who was sad and depressed had turned around and created an organization that she was managing strictly because she used what she loved to fight was she hate.
You said it perfectly that a lot of times we don't put those two together because we have them on such polar opposite ends.
People think they can't make money from it, “I love this but I sure wish I could make money on it.” It's like yin and yang. You got to have both. The keys to what you were meant to do are your emotions because I'm the only child. I hear and I have seen that brothers and sisters can grow up in the same house but they have different passions. Their emotions are different. That's the key that's been planted somewhere in our DNA. If you look at those things, the ultimate upset and those things that you have the ultimate passion for, that's a clue for you to look and see how do you put that together. Eventually, you're going to make some money. You're not going to start off like Richie Rich, but you’re going to get there. Most people stop because they self-judge themselves or they never think about putting together the thing that they hate. That's where that came about.
If you go to WillpowerHarris.com, you can see that right in the front. That speaks to that point of that uniqueness of every single person making your best better because it is about finding your uniqueness, taking that and accentuating that. When you go on that site, you have a multitude of books.
I have eleven books. I don't even like reading.
It must be a common thing for writers because I don't like reading either.
It's a common thing for men in general. A lot of women like reading but I do audiobooks too for other people who are like me.
Out of that eleven books, what is your favorite one? That's always a hard one to pick.
The one I'm going to write next. To answer to your question, Willpower Now is my favorite out of all of them. Mostly because it was my first one and also, “Use what you love to fight what you hate,” that's the first time I mentioned that concept. The next series of books that I bring out will be centered around that. Power Prospecting is my favorite business. Willpower Now is my favorite motivation, Power Prospecting is my favorite business one because that's all about how you make that money. Show me the money.
Getting deeper into that, you have an amazing business. I love it because your parents had to know that you are going to get into this by naming you Will. I love your core values. I want to get into those a little more because on WillpowerHarris.com, one of the things right above where you talk about your five core values, you have this quote. It says, “Having at least one goal that's never complete prevents you from giving up too soon.” I need that quote. Tell me more about where that came from though.
I like studying successful people and also unsuccessful people. To give you an example, I read letters from a Birmingham Jail by MLK. I also read Mein Kampf. I read them both. In the studying of people, you look at people anywhere from Winston Churchill. His greatest time, arguably professionally was doing World War II. You look at Gandhi in India and his most popular time was when the British held him. There are a lot of people in India who do not like Gandhi, which blew me away because we grew up on the Oscar-winning, Gandhi movie. When you look at people throughout history, even Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights and him trying to find his place afterwards. Overall, I started to notice a trend that you need to have a goal that goes so big that you're always striving for it because once you hit it, you can become stagnant.
You can become complacent and not move forward. It becomes settled like retirement. People work all their lives so they can retire and then everybody dies. I'm not retiring. It started off with me saying I'm not retiring and then it went to what are those goals that are so overarching that 200 years after I'm dead, I'm no more, that people are still working on it and it's still having an impact? Some people are trying to make it through their day. They're not going to understand what I'm saying, “I'm trying to make it through today.” Other people are trying to do well for them and their families this lifetime. The next level, and you see that in the way I live my life and my business and the way I treat people, is I'm trying to do things so the 200 years after I'm dead, everything that I touch is still growing, helping, and impacting the planet in some way.
Speaking to that point and we'll get to these five core values. One of the biggest things that I saw that you lead by example in is your foundation. I want to highlight that because you put in the forefront of not starting it, but you contribute a lot to it. One of your videos says you contributed half of the money that you make to it. That's putting that action where it needs to be. Tell me more about your foundation and how it contributes to that long-lasting impact.
When I worked for Mr. Ziglar, who was an absolutely wonderful man, he was the first superstar that I ever met who lived his message. No matter what your message is, you may not agree with the speaker or the leader, but when people believe what they say and they back it up by actions, that's when you have the real magic comes through. Mr. Ziglar taught me to not just speak the message, but live the message. I talk about this in Willpower Now, the first book. Don't get me wrong, I love some money. I got on a custom-made suit. You open it up and it says, “Custom-tailored for Willpower.” Nobody's ever going to steal my jacket. I believe in living a message and greed is taking more than you get. That means if I want to make $1 million, then I need to make $2 million and I need to give one away. That philosophy is the one that led to me doing humanitarian work that you see.
Some of the efforts that you're doing are women empowerment, children education and poverty. I saw one, I'm not sure where the school was, but all the kids were screaming, “Willpower.” You can tell that you’ve got a little emotional from that because of the power of being able to reach across those lines, go into different countries and impact their lives. What does that mean to you to be able to do that?
I'm going to give that answer in a way so that it can be relatable to everybody. In our country, we're dealing with the incident with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter from the scene. I had five speeches and my wife and son went to a protest march. The way I feel is that we are built in a way where the opposite is supposed to help the other group. If I run around being nice to black men, that's self-serving because I am a black man, but they have white people running around saying it. That message becomes a little bit more powerful. People start to listen because one group has nothing to gain by what they're doing.
When I reach out for women empowerment, that's because I'm a male. I'm trying to make it forefront than if you consider me successful if I'm considered the boss but first of all, I need to be paying everyone the same. If you have a male and a female in the same role, they need to be making the same amount of money based on their job role, skill, and talent. That's where that came from. Anything that has to deal with lifting up people in poverty, trying to educate children and women empowerment, I'm all for that. Until everyone in our society has the same ability to go up, we're never going to be the best we can be.
Those are very valuable and they speak exactly to what your core values are because one of your core values is, “We are one.” We care about everyone because we believe we are one. How did you come up with your core values? I’ll say all five of them: Creating Pathways, We Are One, Kindness, Truthfulness and Commitment. Where did these originate from?
A few years back, I sat down with the leaders in my team that worked for me and I said, “We need to come up with core values. I wanted core values that related to Willpower Harris as a brand that also agree with the way I live life. There's nothing worse than somebody that's angelic in the public and then kicking cats behind closed doors. All the names come to mind, all of the people that we see on TV, they were like, “That's America's daddy.” America's daddy is horrible right now. I don't want that daddy. If you're going to be a jerk, you got to be an authentic jerk. Be a jerk in public and be a jerk behind closed doors. It's when your brand doesn't match up to your behavior that people go crazy.
I told you I study people. I figured, “I’m going to be around for a little while. Let me make sure I do this right.” The team and I sat down and start talking about my different beliefs. I believe my goal in life should always be to lead the horse to water. It has to be a path for that horse to get to that water. If there's no path, the water is going to die of thirst. If the horse gets there and the horse is dumb and the horse says, “I'm not drinking this good clean water. I’d rather die in thirst,” I want to step over that dead horse and keep on walking. I don't believe that I have to save people, but I do believe that I need to contribute to their being pathways for people to be safe. That's where Creating Pathways came from.
I like the Creating Pathways because it is true. When I started, I was like, “I’ve got to change people's lives. I've got to make an impact on every single person.” You look at it as though, as you're saying, that authenticity is the biggest part of being a speaker as well as in sales. Once you have that authenticity, you go in there with the idea of, “I'm going to offer them a journey that they can go on, but they have to live at themselves.” When you go to We Are One, what does that mean in your business as well as in your life?
Who can argue with, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Nobody but me. JC had something good going on. I think 2,000 years later, we need to revise that a little bit to, “Do unto others the way they prefer you to do unto them,” because everyone doesn't want to be treated the same way. In order for me to truly understand the way Rob wants to be treated, I have to see through Rob's situation, through his eyes. That means I have to understand where he's coming from. That means I have to be one with my customer or with my client.
It’s not just to look for someone to buy the solutions that I'm offering, but for me to go out and find out what problems they have and then build a solution based on that problem. The We Are One concept from a business, you're going to make more money that way. When you start looking at the world through the lens of your customer like you are them and from a humanitarian standpoint, we're on the same planet together. If pollution is here killing me, we're breathing the same air. There is no Liberal air, Conservative air, rich people air, poor people air if you stand in the same spot. It's all the same air. We are one stems from that.
That leads right into the Kindness factor. I love the way that you reposition that because it is so important to understand who you're talking to as well as in the business world, who you're selling to. It's not just selling one widget to every single person. It's selling an adaptation of that widget to that person that needs it. You look at kindness. That is a huge factor that a lot of people are having trouble with now. How do people accentuate that in their lives?
We have to ask ourselves a question. The biggest question we have to ask is, “What are we doing? What am I doing? What are you doing? What are you doing to make sure you aren't raising a kid that's going to grow up and kill mine? What am I doing to make sure that I'm raising the kid that’s not going to grow up and kill yours?” All the kids are ours. When you start off with a mindset of, how can I teach kindness in my children or the people I have an influence or impact on, it grows from there. When my son was nine years old, we did a Kindness Corner outside of my house. It was wintertime. We got up a little earlier, had hot chocolate and had signs that said free hot chocolate, free hot cocoa, and free hugs.
This is before Coronavirus. We have to do virtual fist bumps. We also had honked to say hi, so cars will come by. In the morning, when you normally hear horns like, “Get out of my away. Hurry, I'm in a rush,” when we started to hear horns, that meant, “How are you doing?” It was a great feeling that we did. That transferred over to my employees around kindness. Do the kindness thing. That's it. For my volunteers, the Willpower Warriors in our humanitarian group, they have to take an oath to come in. The oath is, “I promise to be kind to myself and others.” I'm not going to walk around being a fool being kind to you at my expense. “I'm starving to death and you can get all my money.” I'm not going to let you walk all over me if we’re in a relationship and you're taking advantage of me like Bubu le Clown.
Didn’t you say that you're going to walk over that horse to water? Shouldn't you have led him to water?
That was my point. I led the dumb horse to the water and the horse refuse to drink so I’m going to be kind to myself. You stayed there watching someone refuse to drink that water, now you’re being unkind to you.
The next one we go into is Truthfulness. With being married for many years, you understand the powerful aspect of truthfulness. How do you create that habit to be constant in your relationship as well as in your business life?
Here's the deal. As a consultant, I get paid well to tell people the truth in such a way that it doesn't anger them but inspires and excites them. I have to tell someone the truth. As a consultant, I need the truth to work with. If you're hiding things, concealing things or afraid of things, how can I help you? That's like going to a doctor and like, “I'm sick but you got to guess what it is.” That's not going to go too well. The truth is important. The truth in terms of don't lie to yourself. The majority of people that I run into have a false impression of their greatness. If you asked me, “Where do you suck?” I got a list. If you asked me, “Will, where are you awesome?” I got a list for that too. I got a list for all the areas that I suck at and all the areas I’m wonderful at. I'm very truthful to myself about who and what I am and the areas I can fall down. My wife was telling me about an employee she had years ago. They had to do an evaluation on what was an area of improvement.
This lady put down nothing like, “I'm perfect in everything. I'm the bestest that anybody ever made.” My wife was frizzled at the lady and she’s like, “Why did you put down that you're perfect in everything?” She was like, “I'm not going to look at any of my faults or tell anybody my fault.” That was her mindset. You've got to wait ten years and I can tell you that lady's professional career, it didn't work out too well. That's what's going on with truth and you need to have the truth. It's almost like a puzzle. You can't fix a puzzle with partial pieces. You have to know everything. As you said, I had been married for many years and we dated for five. Truth and honesty, when you make a mistake, you say something. You don't have egos. You put it out there. You accept, “I was wrong and you were right. Let's fix this. Next time, I’ll listen to you because you're smarter than me in this area.”
There's that humbleness too.
As a leader in my company, my employees, I do the same thing. If someone's idea is better than mine, “Forget my idea, yours is better.” If I make a mistake, I say that. One of my favorite quotes that I heard from a comedian, “With kids, if you're raising children, if you're lucky, they're going to do 80% of what you do right but they're going to do 100% of what you do wrong.” As the leader, if I'm not taking responsibility for my actions, if I'm not saying the truth when I make a mistake or when I didn’t know something is my fault, then they're going to mirror that behavior and my organization is not going to continue to grow. I started off as a one-man army. Now, I have a global team that stretches from Bali to Baltimore.
You get to the final one of Commitment. It's a lifetime commitment to all the things that you had previously mentioned that correlate into that bigger purpose of making your best better.
The root of it is a seed for kindness because kind people are always kind. They’re not just kind when they first meet you or kind on Tuesday. They're kind all the time. When I talk to my clients, I tell them, “You can contact me five years from now and I'm going to still be there for you.” It's not because I’m right here, right now. I love my job. I would do it for free. You can always reach back out to me via email, phone, text, and social media. I'm everywhere. If you have a problem with challenge. I have a lifetime commitment to you because if you came in my life, if I saw you or you saw me, then that means we were meant to see and be with each other. You can have employees that can come, leave, and go somewhere else but they always feel like they are a Willpower Warrior, no matter where they go. You can have mentors that come in and out of your life. You can have friends that come in and out of your life in terms of how long and how much time you spend together. When there's a lifetime commitment like my mother, growing up, her friends didn't talk to her every day, but they knew when I'm in trouble, give Irene a call. If I need help, give Irene a call.
That's a perfect way of putting it. I love it. Will, you are an amazing individual. I want to also have people understand where they can connect with you. You have a great program out there at GetBiggerClients.com for the people that are in the sales industry or even individuals like myself who are entrepreneurs. Tell us more about that and what you're promoting on that website.
Social selling is the ability to be able to connect with people in an awesome way virtually and make you some money. Social selling in the shortest definition is the ability to meet a total stranger and take that stranger through a process where they become your client and you make money. Not too many people know how to do that.
GetBiggerClients.com is the website and it's always evolving. No matter when your audience read this, they can always go back and see something different. The ability to reach people virtually, you have to stay on top of your game for that. You've got to have a process that nurtures the relationship. That earns you the right to sale. You can't connect with somebody on LinkedIn and be like, “I’m glad we connected. Can you buy? I want to sell to you.” You wouldn't do that to somebody. It's social selling. You have to be social.
It’s like dating. You don't go up to somebody and say, “You want to be my wife?”
It depends on the country, but it’s not going to work like that.
It has been such a pleasure to talk to you. When you go to your Amazon, it is true that you are proof that where there's a will, there is a way. I appreciate you talking. I always end all my sessions with the same thing. I have three questions then we have a rapid round. I don't give you the questions ahead of time because I like to make you sweat a little. Here's the first question. What is one thing that you haven't done but is outside of your comfort zone?
You already gave me one quote, but I want another quote. What is one of your other favorite quotes and why?
I'm going to say Jim Rohn, “You have to be good at two things, either planning in the spring or begging in the fall.”
That needs no explanation right there. This last one is going to be a little tricky. Being a fireman for years, if you had to pick three people to have coffee with at a firehouse table, they can be deceased or alive, who would they be and why? In a firehouse table, you can ask anything.
Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha
Do you think they all drink coffee?
They're going to have to. It's my fantasy.
Who do you think would get more energy with the coffee?
I think Jesus was a little hyper. He had a little ADHD going on with Him.
He’s like the Highland Grog coffee. Here's the rapid round. I'm going to give you two things. All you’ve got to give is your quick answer to one. Paper or plastic?
Soup or salad?
McDonald’s or Taco Bell?
McDonald’s, I guess.
Camping or hotel?
Hotel. I'm boujee.
Fly or drive?
Sleeping late or wake up early?
Wake up early, definitely.
Run or a walk?
I'm going to walk very fast unless I'm chased.
I don't know which way you'll go on this one. Partly sunny or partly cloudy?
Fire or water?
Definitely water. The water will put out the fire.
I know, but the fire can be put in many different ways.
You're a firefighter, not a fire starter.
That’s true but when I speak, I’m fire starter. Here's the next one. Use a porta-potty or continue or drive to the next physical bathroom?
That all depends on time. That answer is based on time. I want to say the first one. I'm going to say porta-potty. I'm not that boujee.
That puts you in a different level. Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi because my sister-in-law works with Pepsi.
Go big or go home?
Willpower Harris, thank you so much for coming on. It's been a great honor. If you want to find out more about Will, a lot of different things that he has from his books to having him come and speak as a keynote speaker or a seminars, go to WillpowerHarris.com or you can go to GetBiggerClients.com to increase your sales. Find out more about all this stuff.
Rob, you truly are a fire starter.
Thank you, everybody, for reading.