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Welcome to episode #70 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I spoke with Ken Kladouris, the owner of a wealth management practice and an author. He enjoys being out on the ocean, sailing.

Top Talking Points

  • It’s helpful to start your day off with an important task for the day.
  • Doing a week of silence every year to improve your calmness and peacefulness.
  • The meaning of life is to live.

Resources & Links

Connect With Ken at kenkladouris.com

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

Get There!: Chart Your Course to Financial Abundance and Live the Life You Desire

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Episode Transcript

Ryan 

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development, upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you doing?

Ken 

Great. Good morning.

Ryan 

Good morning to you. Yes, here. Your what, pacific time Yeah. Seemed to be a good afternoon to me. So why don’t we start off telling everyone you know who you are, what you do for a living and in some of your hobbies?

Ken 

Yes, I’m Ken, Kladouris. And I have a wealth management practice, where we focus specifically on 1031 exchanges for real estate investors. And I’m also the author of Chart your Course to Financial Abundance. And I created a course recently called Stillness to Success, which is basically what I’ve learned over the past five years condensed into an online course, to help people create more success in their life. And then my hobbies mostly are going to be around being on the water. So I love sailing, powerboats, and all of that outdoor stuff that comes with the ocean.

Ryan  

Yeah, you’re in a good area for that, being in Southern California.

Ken 

Yes. Very lucky to be here.

Ryan  

Yeah, it’s beautiful down there. So one question that just came to mind hearing you describe like your businesses, so I’m assuming the wealth, your wealth management company keeps you busy. So why did the course and the book just add all that additional work onto your plate? What? What’s the motivation? What, inspired you to do that?

ken 

So yeah, that wealth management practice keeps me very busy, I think just celebrated 10 years earlier this year of actually being in the business. And, you know, when I kind of had my epiphany moment, of needing to accomplish more and do more with my life, that was the motivation to write the book, just to say that I could and, you know, kind of do that for like a, for personal achievement. The course is more because I kept getting the same questions from people of, you know, what are you doing? How do you? How do you structure your morning? What are you doing to like, create the amount of success and momentum you have in life, while still looking calm and at peace, and enjoying yourself? And because I kept getting that question, I was like, you know, I should just create a course around that so that more people can have the opportunity to take the knowledge that took me years to learn, get it quickly, and then have that same level of success in their own life.

Ryan  

Yeah, it sounds like it’s like something, it’s a passion project for you as well like to create impact. And with the course, especially helping people get to a certain level of success in their life, you know, based on your experience.

Ken 

Exactly. It’s definitely for the impact when it started. And now I’m starting to see the number of changes people are having in their own lives and the amount of clarity they’re having. And it’s very inspiring.

Ryan  

Do you think you’d ever just go full on that? Or do you always want to have the wealth management practice running in parallel as well?

Ken 

Time will tell on that. Right now, I’m having a lot of fun doing both. So as long as I’m enjoying it, and I can do both of them to the level that I hold myself to? I’ll keep doing both.

Ryan

That makes sense. Very well. You mentioned your mornings, and you mentioned being calm as well. So I want to ask you, I like to ask questions around like, happiness and meaning of life. And I want to ask you about your, your comment on, you know, you seem calm all the time, what tips you have around that. But let’s start off by talking about your morning routine first, what does that look like?

Ken  

Yeah, so my morning routine, I’ve developed again, like the same five-year timeframe. But it’s now condensed to like something that’s very specific, and I use it every day. So basically, I wake up, meditate. Then I, after my meditation, do some journaling around gratitude goals for the day. And a couple of other things that kind of like what I’m trying to pull in for the day and what success looks like for me going forward. For the day I do that journaling, and then I jump into the kind of the whatever’s the most impactful thing that I’m going to do that day, is what I do next. And then once I’m told that you know, I kind of go on with the rest of my day, but that is how I start every day.

Ryan  

How do you determine what is your number one priority for the day? I’m assuming it’s business-related, but how do You choose? And if it’s the what management practice, if it’s your book, if it’s something else, and how do you decide on what that priority is?

Ken  

Yeah, I mean, because it depends on what I was doing, like the day before, when it came to writing the book. Every morning, that was the thing I did was no matter what I wrote, because I needed to get in that daily habit of writing. And so even though some days, I felt very creative, and other days, I was like, Oh, my God, I’m struggling for words, I created that muscle memory of writing every day. And then I would know, for each thing in my life, you know, what is the most impactful in that area? So whether it was the blog, then I’d move on to okay, what’s what I need to do today for work? You know, and then except for the course, like what is today? Like, what are we focusing on today for the course? And that’s just worked out really well, because by the time most people are, you know, kind of getting around to, to work and like things that are important. I’ve hit write the most important thing in my day and got it done already. So it allows you to write use your energy, be very focused, make an impact in your day, and then move forward. Because I’ve found, and I’m sure some of the audience has to like, once you get too far into your day, there are so many demands that are pulling you in multiple directions. Your list kind of goes out the window. So before anybody has an opportunity to do that, I’m already right. Attack the thing that was most important.

Ryan 

Yeah, it’s like Tim Ferriss says, you, if you win the morning, you win the day. And I agree, tackling that number one priority, no matter what happens after that, as you said, you get pulled in different directions you’ve already accomplished, like the main thing. That’s, that’s pretty important. People see the level of success you’ve had and how you remain calm, and I guess cool and calm? I don’t know. But how do you do that? Like, obviously, the meditation, I’m assuming ties into the app, is there anything else you do to keep yourself calm under pressure?

Ken 

So the meditation is, I would say, the biggest aspect of it, and the one that I’ve found the quickest results from, because I used to be very stressed out all the time, had little OCD, and had a lot going on in my head all the time. And so once I was able to quiet all that noise, I realize, like what was occurring in my head necessarily wasn’t real in that allowed me to be much calmer, in general. And then for the last few years, every year, I do a weakened silence, which has been just a huge accelerate into the amount of calm, quiet stillness that I experienced every day.

Ryan  

Let’s talk about that for a minute. You said, once a week, every year, you spend seven days in complete silence.

Ken  

So all week, per year. Yeah. So I just got back. And it’s five days, actually. But the whole experience is seven, I spend five complete days in silence every year.

Ryan 

Wow. Where do you go for that? Is that? Is it like a program that you joined? Or is it something you do by yourself?

Ken 

So I’ve done both. Obviously, with COVID last year, no one was having anything. So I did it myself. And this year, so I just got back, actually, we were in Yosemite. I’ve done Santa Barbara and other places in Northern California. So they’ve all been there. And that has been like I said, hands down. The best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Ryan  

So what do you do during those five days? You can’t talk? Are you reading? Are you journaling? Or are you literally just meditating and just sitting there?

Ken 

Yeah, so I don’t journal or read. There’s no music, no TV, no, nothing. Just really just being one with yourself for a week. Yeah, my plan is to, that’s my next impact is since I find that much value in it is, you know, next year, my intention is to actually start hosting them, so that people can experience that as well.

Ryan 

It’s interesting, I’m not even that much. I mean, not even that talkative of a person, but the thought of just sitting there in silence for five days, I feel like, after 24 hours, I’d be bursting to sing or something or scream. Is it hard? Or do you get used to it?

Ken  

So you definitely get used to it. But I would say so the first year was very difficult for me. Because of all the things right, you’re, like, so much unexpected, you don’t even know what it looks like, right? You’re like what’s gonna happen, I run a business family like there are so many demands that we feel we have to deal with all the time. And by being able to step away, and say, you know, for the next five days, all those things are gonna have to exist without me. It’s a very freeing experience. And I think that’s, again, why I’m able to stay so calm and still, throughout the whole year, is you know, that daily practice of meditation, but then being able to completely unplug to on an annual basis. And like, just recenter clear everything and just come back refreshed and ready to go.

Ryan  

Yeah, that’s very cool. So you’ve got this, this week of silence. You’ve got gratitude practice, you’ve got meditation. Is there anything else you do any other habits that feed into your fulfillment that feed into your happiness?

Ken  

As I said, it’s actually two questions in my head, when it comes to fulfillment and happiness like, it’s this is in the course as well. I’ve actually defined what those mean to me. And what brings me more happiness and the things that I want in my life. So that I know I’d be happy in that way. And I’m going in the right direction. So having a definition of what that looks like, I think is really important. If you want to create more of it, know what happiness looks like to you.

Ryan

Yeah, I agree you have to know how you can get there if you don’t really know what that looks like for you. And it’s such a personal thing that you’re what feeds you happiness, like, I don’t do anything with water sports, and when doesn’t make me happy, but it makes you happy. So it’s personalized, a personalized thing for sure if you know where you’re going.

Ken 

Exactly. That’s why the book is called To Get There. Right? Find where it will help you get there.

Ryan

Exactly. Have you always been into personal growth? You used to be very stressed and OCD. So did you create all these habits and, and this personal growth journey as a byproduct of that? Or have you always been into it in my younger?

Ken 

No, this is literally the last five years of a lot of personal growth and personal work. For that, I thought I had everything figured out. And I was like, I’m good. Making money, I’m having fun, like, it is what it is. But then, you know, I hit a certain point where I felt like I kind of plateaued in life, and just living on repeat. And you know, I kind of felt stuck, and, but I was comfortable with it. And then it was like, you know, I had this moment where it all went away. And I felt like, oh my god, like I could do better. And I took that moment of clarity, if you will, and was like, okay, I can create this in my life. So you’ll figure out how to do it. I started the journey by trying to figure out how to do all the things I teach now.

Ryan  

Bring it back to meditation is you made me think of something like I forget when I was introduced to meditation, it might have been Miracle Morning or I don’t remember exactly. It might be that book. But also, you know, that show billions isn’t on HBO and HBO billions. But I think he’s a hedge fund manager. But he’s got like an enormous amount of pressure in the TV shows. It’s not real life. But I imagine there is a lot of stress in that business and in your business. But his therapist like forces on the TV show, his therapist forces him to meditate every day, for 15-20 minutes, whatever it is, he’s got a room for his nap. I thought that was interesting. Like she’s forcing him because of the pressure he deals with to spend that time in silence and meditate.

Ken  

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve never watched the show. But one of them, I’m guessing might have taken it from him. One of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time, actually, in real life does meditate. But he never told anybody until he was no longer doing that. So maybe that’s what you wanted from?

Ryan 

Yeah, you dive into fulfillment and happiness in your course. And this is a personal question. So maybe, like, answer it as you understand it, but the meaning of life, as you understand it, what’s the meaning of life? In your opinion?

Ken  

That’s such a, again, broad question. But I would say the best answer for me is to live. So the mean is to live. Yeah, I like that. Right? I mean, as you reflect on that, you’re like, that means so much. But it’s so simple. And I feel like, that’s usually what it is, right? The simplest things are the most impactful sometimes.

Ryan

I understand what you’re saying it’s a simple answer. But it’s actually a very complex answer. Because, like, what does that mean? It’s different for every person. And I think about myself, like, as I’ve gotten older kids, and all the stuff that comes with that business and everything, I just the idea that it was all very, I want to be the best husband, I can be the best father, the best business owner. But I also want to have fun too, because I don’t know how much I assume I’m gonna live a long life. But I don’t know that for sure. I’ve had friends that have passed away at a young age. So he’s don’t know. And so, for me, the meaning of life, you know, just trying to balance the two, like my responsibilities the best I can, but also having fun, the best I can and try to find that balance. It’s been top of mind for me for the last couple of years now. So you get it. Yeah, exactly. I’ve got one last question for you can, we can wrap up with you telling everyone how they can learn more about you and your book and your course and all that. Let’s talk about your number one personal development tip. And if it’s meditation, maybe give us a little insight into how you meditate because there are different ways to do it.

Ken 

So I’ll give you two because meditation is kind of a layup. After everything, we’ve talked about. The other thing I would say is, just don’t overthink it and get started. So many people that I know, overcomplicate things in one another, all the steps, and do everything before they start anything. And it’s very hard to get all that information and still move forward. So I tell so many people just get started and move forward and you know, you kind of adjust as you go and you course correct. And that’s a lot easier than trying to steer when you’re stopped. So that’s that and then for meditation, yeah, that’s, that’s why I teach it is it helps people just again, create that mental stillness, gain more clarity. And so yeah, became a certified primordial sound meditation instructor who said help people create that in their own environment and not need an app or something else to kind of hold on to for their meditations. It’s really a very personal thing. You kind of just sit with yourself and you repeat your personal mantra, and it’s very easy. So the, you know, that’s what we teach, and everybody gets their personal mantra, and then it’s very, it’s a meaningless mantra. And it’s just again, sentence meaningless. You kind of create some clarity in your mind and quiet down all those thoughts until eventually you just don’t think about anything for a while. And then you get to see, you know, what that equates to when you’re living in acting and in life. Two concepts.

Ryan 

Thanks, Ken. I appreciate your time today. Thanks for everything you’ve shared. If someone wants to learn more about you, the book, or the course. Where should we send them?

Ken 

Yeah, thanks, Ryan. Everything is available on Kenkladouris.com. I’m sure you’d put a link in the description and set up the style that everything’s there. And then you can also go to stillnesstosuccess.com, and there’s information and a free download there as well.

Ryan  

Perfect. Yeah, we’ll link that up on the show notes page. Thanks again. Have a great day.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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