Hi, I’m Vaughn.
I’m a man who had to learn (and is still learning) that you don’t have to chose between being devoted to God and being driven to succeed in life - and that your commitment to excellence doesn’t have to be motivated by selfish ambition. In fact, your commitment to excellence should be an act of worship!
I was a Baptist pastor for 10 years. I don’t think my ministry was an abject failure by any means; but after I left the pastorate to join the Catholic Church in 2011 (that’s a whole ‘nother story), I felt this deep sense of regret. I felt that the people I served never really got my best. And to some extent, I’m not even sure I knew how to give it to them.
I had always skated by on native intelligence and natural talent and good intentions. I never really learned how to cast a big vision for myself, set huge goals, establish critical daily tasks, and learn how to follow-through on things whether I felt like it or not. I may have been friendly and caring, but I wasn’t disciplined and as productive as I could have been.
I may have been better than the next guy, but I certainly wasn’t the best that I could be.
Then I met (and came to work for) a multi-millionaire entrepreneur named Andy Frisella who is the most intense, driven man I’ve ever met in my life. The founder of 1st Phorm International, a nutritional supplement company, Andy is a highly sought-after consultant and conference speaker who has been featured in Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur Magazine. He recruited me to serve as his co-host for a business and success podcast that now has millions of monthly listeners and is one of the top-rated podcasts in the world. I also serve as a writer and “Idea Nerd” for the company behind his personal brand, 44Seven Media, LLC.
Andy and I are very, very different. He is a flame-throwing, 4-letter-word spitting business genius and I am quirky nerd at heart with degrees in creative writing and theology who loves to read about everything from the ideals of ancient Greek civilization to the leadership styles of U.S. Presidents.
Nevertheless, his influence and impact on me has been profound. It’s been uncomfortable and infuriating and humbling and unnerving at times, but I am slowly learning what it means to be a man committed to the pursuit of my own full potential, a man practically equipped to become the best version of himself.
But here’s the crazy, compelling twist:
As I have learned more and more about the pursuit of excellence, I have come to see the connection between ancient spiritual principles and personal success. I have also come to believe that while God himself has established principles that drive success, those same principles define success in a way that is often distinctly different from the things taught by most of the modern “gurus” and “life coaches” — even by the popular pastors and preachers.
In short: God wants us to be successful. But he’s the one who defines what that means. And He wants us to pursue excellence. But not just for our own gain…but the good of the world and, ultimately, the glory of God.
I believe there is a way to pursue success like a saint. I believe there is a way to commit to excellence as an act of worship.
So I’m going “all in” on this adventure. Sure, I will always be a work in progress; but now more than ever, I will work to progress!
St. Catherine of Siena said, “become who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
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