Ken Kladouris recently developed an online course, Stillness to Success, to help people who are truly ready to make real change in their lives and cut through the noise.
After the Interview:
- Visit website
- Online Course: stillnesstosuccess.com
- Instagram: @kenkladouris
About Ken Kladouris
Ken is an esteemed wealth advisor and a leader in the self-mastery movement. Ken recently developed an online course, Stillness to Success, to help people who are truly ready to make real change in their lives. The course can help you cut through the noise, find your stillness, and create the success you want. Ken compiled this course with practical and impactful lessons he gained from years of his own self-study.
Read the Transcript
Allison: Welcome back to the Deliberate Leaders podcast, I am your host and Executive Coach Allison, then today we’re going to be diving into the topic of leading with stillness. Or best is Ken Kladouris. He is a an esteemed wealth advisor, and a leader in the Self Mastery movement. Ken recently developed an online course called Stillness to Success, to help people who are truly ready to make real changes in their lives, cut through the noise, find their stillness and create a success they want in their life. And thank you so much for joining us here today.
Ken: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be your guest.
Allison: Fantastic. I love to kick these off with a deliberate conversation. And what would be your number one leadership tip for our listeners?
Ken: If somebody I mean, my direct answer is always like, find your stillness, because I think that that is the most important thing that an individual can do for themselves in all aspects of their life.
Allison: Yeah. I just want to be able to I think that’s a very good connection. Talking about today. Could you share one tip that helps you find your stillness that our listeners could consider doing as well?
Ken: Yeah. For stillness, I practice meditation. But I’d say maybe about their deliberate answer for this is having the ability to articulate your vision so that the people around you know where you’re going.
Allison: Okay, great. That’s a fantastic answer, Ken, thank you so much, a little bit more deliberate. Right?
Ken: It all, does start with the purpose in the vid, the clarity of our vision as to things so that would help identify how to find the stillness as well. So good. What’s, what would be your tips on how to gain mental clarity in this crazy, hectic world we live in today?
Yeah. You know, I’m very deliberate in all of my actions. And so having the ability to step out of the noise and create a place for you to reflect on not only what you’re doing in life, but where you’re going and who you want to be, I think is one of the foundational things that somebody can do. So, you know, I spent a week in silence every year, I meditate every day. So I have a lot of practices. But most people when I say that are like, oh, man, I don’t have enough time to do that I couldn’t possibly. And so I always just say, you know, start wherever you are, be present in the activities that you’re doing. And allow yourself to, you know, focus on what it is that you’re trying to do in a moment, as opposed to letting everything else overwhelm your system.
Allison: I’ve never had anyone that I know, say that they take an entire week in, in quiet is that is what I heard you say basically, like no talking. Correct?
How do you accomplish that? Like, like, I really just want to understand, where are you doing this? And how do you achieve that? And how, how easy is it for you?
Ken: See, like I said, every time I bring it up, everybody gets like so excited, right? Because you probably like, oh my god, Allison. I never could do that, like all these things. And all these, right, and I could just kind of comes off.
So I’ve done it for four years in a row now. And the first year was pretty brutal. I’d say that like going into it. Right. It’s like I have family obligations, I run a company, I have client, all of those things, like what is possibly going to happen when I’m gone for, you know, a week. And I really took mine to the next level, you know what I mean is, so a lot of people go to these and some people will be quiet or whatever. I didn’t read, I didn’t write I didn’t text, no emails, nothing just completely unplugged. For that time. Until going in, I was like, going all those thoughts, clients, everything that comes up on a daily basis, like who’s going to take care of that.
You know, it took me three days the first year to actually quiet my mind enough to actually enjoy it. And then once that happened, it was like a light switch. And it became the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. And I cleared so many, just different things. And again, obviously I really enjoy it because I do it every year now. Because it’s a great way to really just detach from everything. And let kind of the thoughts percolate that are below the surface and get them to get to your attention and allow you to process them and really define what’s holding you back. I can different areas and clarify your vision even further.
Allison: I guess some of the rules I automatically came up with is if I’m not speaking, then I’m clearly not reading, not writing like not you and me not texting, like I just assumed all of that. So people actually go to the stillness and then do all those things.
Ken: Yeah, I mean, everybody’s on there, everybody’s doing their own thing. Right? So everybody has their own process. I mean, when you go, you’re not supposed to talk. In right, communicate. But some people are like, well, if I’m not, if I’m in silence, like it’s all text, like, if that’s where you are in your journey, like, that’s fine. But I think that the ultimate goal is Yeah, to truly unplug, and just, you know, step away from everything.
Allison: I’m just gonna stick on this for just a little bit more time, because I am super curious, I would imagine that it would be very difficult. I resonate with it being difficult with your first year, even though it sounds amazing. Like how long it takes you to get your brain to settle down. What, in your four years of committing to this type of practice? What are the long term benefits that you can speak to?
Ken: I mean, it affects every aspect of my life. And I have, I would say that everything in my life is a result of my week of silence and meditation practice, actually have a kind of article that I wrote on my first year experience, which I share with people online. And, you know, each year I would say, is something different.
So the beauty of it is that I don’t go in with an intention or anything, it’s like, I show up in let the thoughts just come up, that are going to come up. So each year, something might come up that I wasn’t expecting, right, because like, after that many days, like you don’t know what your mind is going to throw at you. You know, so last year, a lot of different things were coming up for me around success and reaching even higher levels. And I really had to, like, clear those out.
And I should say, flush them out and really just understand what was going on clear them too. They were actually hurting me. And at the same time, like my vision of like, what I could achieve in my life, grew exponentially in those five days. And I like left feeling just so refreshed and rejuvenated. And my targets of like what I want to do achieve, like, again, multiply multiplied. And all I did was sit in silence.
Allison: That’s, that’s a powerful thing to ponder, which I’m going to ask my listeners to do on experiencing five days, seven days, 10 days, what does this look like?
Ken: It’s five days in silence. And the whole trip is seven days. Okay, in total. All right, a little time to like process going in and a little time to process coming out of it’s in silence?
Allison: Is the name of this place? Quiet camp or something like that? Like, where do you go?
Ken: So they’re just a different hotels. Next year, I plan on hosting my own. So if I call it quiet camp, you heard it here first. I’ll give you naming rights.
Allison: Oh, well, I’m glad that I can be helpful to you today as well. That’s fantastic. I love it’s one of the things that you also kind of coach on is how to do a successful balance of work life, you know, home and everything. And so I think that work life balance is something I have finally done a good job in my life to achieve but I work with a lot of people who don’t have it. So pour some thoughts into this podcast today for our listeners, so that they have some good tips on that. Yeah.
Ken: I think the best tip is really just define what it is in each area of your life that you want and what’s important to you. And one of the things I have clients do is write down you know, what brings them happiness and joy in the different areas of their life so that way, they have clarity, maybe not have like this grand vision of like each aspect because I feel a lot of times that becomes overwhelming to clients and they don’t do anything.
So if you start with something small like hey, what, when you think of your family and like your relationships, what makes you happy? Or what is it about your career that makes you happier? Spirituality great, all those different areas of life. Just defining what is happiness in that area? And starting there, helps you create more balance because you’re bringing awareness to those areas and what’s important to you.
Allison: Do you find that that is easy for people that you’re working with to do? Or does that? Is that an in depth process?
Ken: Um, I think that on the surface, everybody has a general idea of what brings them happiness. But I mean, there’s a longer process to get to like the values and the beliefs that support that. But again, to start, you know, in a podcast, and just define what it is that brings you happiness, like, you get home today, you walk in the door, and you’re like, ah, smiling at something like, that’s what you could write down. Like, that brings me happiness, right. And it just starts that process of uncovering those things.
Allison: I would say that one of my, one of the most important things in life is to truly be happy, and lots of things make me very happy. And yet, I meet a lot of people who that’s not their purpose in life. And it’s something very different. And so I looked the lens on like, for me, this would be a very easy exercise to go through. But there’s a lot of people who don’t know what makes them happy.
Ken: Right? Yeah. And I talked about a lot of people don’t even know what they want.
Allison: Don’t want Yep. They don’t know what they do want.
Ken: Exactly. Right. And the hard way to It sounds simple, right? Like, oh, this is not what I what I don’t want. But to change that lens into the positive is very difficult for people.
Allison: Do you have any specific techniques to help in kind of working, working, helping someone work through that?
Ken: I guess the easiest thing is to just take what you don’t want and find a way to say that same thing? Yeah, exactly. Flip it to a positive. And it might not make sense, like when you write it down, because like a lot people like, this doesn’t graphically correct or whatever. But really, if it’s just at least it’s in a positive lens, and then you’ll start to create that habit of looking at things from a positive standpoint, and then it’ll become easier.
Allison: The program that you have launched a new lead is called leading with stillness. And I would, I would love for you to share kind of the genesis of what did you create it for? And what, what are you? What are you hoping? Are the outcomes for people who participates in like, do it with intention?
Ken: Yeah. So it’s stillness to success. And it really is to help people that were in the same similar situation that I was a few years ago, right, so many people I feel, and I was in the same place, right, where you get to a point in your career where you kind of hit plateaus, and you really aren’t excited anymore. And like, it’s very mundane, and you’re just kind of doing the same thing all over. And your life just kind of lost its purpose. It’s unfulfilling, and you’re kind of just going through the steps. And so to help people get from that to living a thriving, fulfilled life, you know, we teach people first, how to meditate.
Because creating that mental clarity, I think is extremely simple. When you have a practice like meditation, to hone those mental skills. From there, we go into defining core values, creating a vision statement, and really creating that lens of positivity in somebody’s life in all aspects, and then creating a plan for them to achieve it going forward. And then we support them with through coaching both on one on one and group to make sure that they’re staying on plan and hitting their targets.
Allison: Okay, fantastic. Yeah. Met it. You’ve brought up meditation a couple of times, and I don’t, I personally don’t think that I do meditation very well. I’m just going to like on that. I work on it. But my brain really does think all female brains work this way. We’re just like little lino pop things happening all the time. What are the what are the benefits? Like, why should people meditate? Let’s just start with like, surely what are the benefits of doing it?
Ken: I mean, there’s like hundreds of benefits, you can look up like everything. And what I think is interesting. Is that what you said, you’re like, Oh, I’m not a good meditator. Because I have thoughts. And I hear that a lot. It’s always interesting to me, because as a human being, we always have thoughts. So the purpose of meditation isn’t to not have thoughts. It’s really to, like, create a space and a ritual for you to you know, step out of the noise of the everyday world and dip into like the space between thoughts. And it’s just that practice of having that mantra and sitting and relaxing and allowing your physiology to relax your Breathing, to relax, to lower your stress, and to just tap into that stillness, as I call it, of the mantra meditation, so that you can take those benefits out into the rest of your day.
Allison: And I just want to clarify, because we kind of kicked this off talking about doing like a week of silence, right? I’d say most people would say that that’s kind of what you would think is the benefits of meditation. Right? Except for extended. And in stillness, you actually just with your thoughts, as opposed to the space between the thoughts. I don’t know if that if I’m, like, relaying this correctly. So I guess my question here is, in, in creating the stillness for success, what is the area of focus for? For the program isn’t the space in between or just allowing to hear the thoughts you’re having?
Ken: Think that’s two different questions. The area of life that we would like focus on is usually career, because it’s a thing that somebody can really measure and relate to. But what we’re doing in the stillness practice, is allowing them to hear the inner voice and their true kind of voice inside, when it comes to answering questions like, what makes you happy? What’s your vision? What do you want in life? Right?
Because so many people through social media and family and everybody else knows what they don’t want, and can just throw off stuff that they heard in the news or online, or what society thinks they should be doing as the answer, what we’re really trying to tap into who they are on a deeper, subconscious level. And the easiest way to like hear that voice, is to have a practice of hearing that voice frequently. And that’s through meditation. Does that answer your question?
Allison: It absolutely did. And for, like, wading through what I was trying to ask, do you have a favorite tool that you use for guided meditation?
Ken: So I’m actually a Chopra certified meditation instructor. It’s a way Chopra, Deepak Chopra. So Deepak has a certified meditation program. And he has this primordial sound meditation, which is a mantra based meditation practice. And that’s what we teach all of our clients.
Allison: Okay, fantastic. And is there a favorite mantra that is your go to when you’re meditating?
Ken: So each mantra is actually based on kind of where you were born in at what time? So everybody only has one mantra. Unique to them? Right?
Allison: Okay. Are you willing to share yours?
Ken: No, we don’t share our mantras. I’m sorry.
Allison: That’s okay. I figured that out.
Ken: But what I would say is, again, it’s about creating that practice. So because it’s the same entre, and you’re gonna sit in a quiet place, you really ritualized that experience. So your body starts to know, like when it hears the mantra, like, Okay, I’m supposed to relax, I’m supposed to do these things. And you become right, just on cue doing it. And it makes the whole experience that much easier.
Allison: Okay, fantastic. So the repetition of it, and then kind of the muscle memory of it all. How long have you been practicing a mantra?
Ken: I’ve been meditating for six or seven years.
Allison: Okay, and what would you say are the benefits from that practice for you?
Ken: What got me to my week of silence, um, it’s a great start for, again, just hearing who you are what you want in life. You know, for me, I used to have this belief that I had to control every aspect of everything. Right. So as a financial adviser, very conservative career, like, this is what we do. We control the outcomes, like, all of those things. And it was very stressful, wasn’t very fulfilling, and like my entire life was basically calculating risk and trying to control it. And through my meditation practice, I learned to slowly let go of that need for control. Then I found out that the control I had was an illusion, because things are gonna happen anyway. And then I have to deal with it. And now it’s much more in tune with what’s occurring around me. I’m a better listener. Things just get done that need to get done. And I’m just more present. All of those things I think affect every aspect of my life. And it all started with 20.
Allison: Okay, fantastic. I appreciate the backstory Do you Do you still do that as a career? Or have you completely shifted? pivoted, I guess is the proper word.
Ken: No, I still have my wealth management practice. And then we have a real estate firm, and the coaching.
Allison: All right, fantastic. And I have a appreciate all of the tips that you have given us. Is there anything that you would like to share that I’ve not asked about?
Ken: No, I think we’re good. I mean, we hit all the high levels of everything.
Allison: So fantastic. Yeah. When is your next week of silence?
Ken: Well, I don’t know when this will be recorded, or released, I should say. But probably about the time this is out, I’ll already be finished.
Allison: Okay, fantastic. So next week, so not probably not true.
Ken: Oh, it’ll be out next week. Yeah, no, I’ll be getting ready to leave for it. middle of September, I’ll be going.
Allison: Fantastic. And since you’re sharing this, and now I’m curious, do you do we go silent by yourself? Or are you with a group of people.
Ken: So I’ve done both. With a group is so much better. Like they say that there’s like a resonance that happens in the environment when you have a lot of people meditating. And you can google that and look at the studies of that. But when you’re in silence, there is something special that happens when you have 20 or 50, people, whatever it may be together, it changes the environment. And in addition to that, like there’s, you have like that camaraderie of like a connection with people, even though you’re not saying anything to them. And it’s a beautiful experience to do that. When I did in by myself, it was, it was still good. But it was it was harder to control CFCs they control the environment, because you’re not in a group with people facilitating all of your meals and everything. It’s just a little tougher to like, relax into it, because you’re still having to deal with some aspects of life.
Allison: Yeah, which one are you heading into?
Ken: I only did the by myself? Because COVID Yeah, right. No one was hosting events. I was like, well, I need to do my silence. So I’ll just go do it by myself. And now that we don’t have that problem anymore, I can go back to groups.
Allison: There you go. Even if I’m going to be in silence, I would probably want to be with a group just for the energy that bad. So well. I hope that your week of silence brings you greater clarity for this coming year and I appreciate you sharing all of this with us today.
Ken: Thank you, Alison. I really enjoyed our conversation.