Earn Your Trident Every Day with William Branum

June 28, 2022
James Whittaker

Check out this episode on the Win the Day Podcast

If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

Admiral William H. McRaven

We’ve got a very special treat for you today! 

Joining me in the studio is William Branum, a 26-year Navy SEAL and entrepreneur.

William served on both traditional SEAL Teams, taught as a SEAL Sniper Instructor, and served on Teams that specialized in undersea operations – where the missions could only be approved by the President of the United States.

In addition, he led major combat operations, ranging from Direct Action missions to protecting the interim Iraqi elected officials.

After retiring from the military in 2018, William came to grips with the physical and psychological symptoms that were negatively impacting his well-being and quality of life – symptoms that he had attempted to mask with alcohol and prescription drugs. 

That journey led him to becoming the founder and CEO of Naked Warrior Recovery, a CBD company focused on the recovery of veterans and first responders.

In this episode, we’ll speak with William about:

  • The most grueling moments of SEAL training
  • The secrets to discipline and motivation
  • His difficult transition to civilian life, and
  • The best lessons from his 26-year career as a Navy SEAL.

Before we begin, the right bit of inspiration can completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, so if there’s a friend or loved one who needs to hear this episode or could use some help to Win the Day, share it with them right now.

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Navy SEAL, William Branum!

James Whittaker:
William, great to see you! Thanks for coming on the Win the Day show.

William Branum:
Thanks for having me out here.

First of all, thank you for your service. You've sacrificed so much, in 26 years of service. I really appreciate you taking the time to share all the lessons and a bit about your journey today.

Thank you.

Also, a big shout out to our mutual friend, Tim Beanland, for putting us in touch.

When you were younger, what career path did you naturally gravitate towards?

I naturally gravitated towards the military. I grew up in a little town outside of Meridian, Mississippi. There’s not a lot going on there, but I was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts and I really like the outdoors. I like shooting guns. I like swimming.

Well, I thought I liked swimming until I joined the SEAL Teams!

There’s levels when it comes to swimming, right!?

I still do ocean swims — just because it's hard and it scares me a little bit, especially in Hawaii where there's big fish with big teeth.

I was a very poor kid, but heavily involved in the Scouts. So, the Scouts actually paid for me to go to this national jamboree up in Virginia. And I met another kid and he was like, "I'm going to be an F14 Tomcat pilot and I'm going to be a Navy SEAL when I grow up.”

And I always knew that I wanted to be some elite special forces or something, but I didn't know what that was.

There was no internet when I was a kid. We had three channels on the television, but I did watch a lot of John Wayne movies. He was a Green Beret in Vietnam, in the movie Green Berets. John Rambo was an Army Ranger. 

Chuck Norris was in this movie Delta Force and they were shooting rockets off of dirt bikes. I still haven't had a chance to do that! Seems really cool. I still want to do that.

The day is still young! Let’s see what we can do. 

Yeah, we got all day!

So, I was thinking maybe I would be like a Marine Corps scout sniper. I knew what those were. And the Marines had super cool commercials where they were fighting dragons with swords and shields on television. I was like, "Well, that's pretty cool.”

But when this kid told me about Navy SEALs, I was like, "What is that?" He was like, "Oh, they're the most elite military force in the world. It's the hardest military training, blah, blah, blah. And they jump out of airplanes. They shoot guns. They scuba dive. They do all these things." I'm like, "Check. Sign me up!"

I came back from that trip and two weeks later, the Navy recruiter called my house. This was the summer between my 11th and 12th grade of high school. He calls my house and says, "Hey, have you ever thought about joining the Navy?" 

If he had called me six weeks ahead of time, I would have said, "Not on your life." Everyone in my family has been in the Navy. And I'm like, "There's no way. They have the ugliest uniforms. It's like the great big things floating out in the ocean. I'm not joining the Navy."


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where William Branum does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


But the Navy is the only organization that has Navy SEALs, so I was like, "Yeah, I want to be a Navy SEAL and an F14 Tomcat pilot." So, he said, "Come on down and let's talk about it.”

So I went down. He showed me a super cheesy movie and I was like, "That's what I want to do. Where do I sign?"

The movies were a great recruitment tool. Look at Top Gun!

Exactly. And the sequel just came out!

The SEAL training BUD/S is notoriously difficult. Take us into how grueling that was for you.

It was very hard. It was six months long and it took me a short 13 months to get through that six-month block of training. And it wasn't because I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be there probably more than most people, but I didn't prepare myself physically before I got there.

Then when I got there, I got injured several times and they kept rolling me back because of those injuries, but they almost kicked me out.

The first time I got hurt, it's natural for people to get hurt or whatever — they roll you back to the next class. Then I got hurt about three weeks in. Still not sure what the injury was. My leg just stopped working. And you go before this medical review board and they're all old senior SEALs and they recommend you stay or go.

The first guy I went to, he said, "I recommend you go back to the fleet. Go ride on a ship." And I was like, "Hold on. That's not in my plan! I don't want to do that." Because I had to ride on a ship for two years before getting to SEAL training.

I go see the second guy and I'm really depressed. And because of some decisions that I made before, I got to SEAL training that landed me on a ship in Yokosuka, Japan, I almost didn't get to go become a Navy SEAL because apparently I went to a school that made me too critical for the Navy.

And when it was my time on the ship to be up, I called the guy who tells you to go to your new ship, and I said, "Hey, I want to go become a Navy SEAL." He said, "Sorry, you're too critical to the Navy. That school that you went to for four more months to get in better shape to go to SEAL training? That landed you on this ship. That makes you too critical for me to let you go to become a Navy SEAL."

And so, the Chief of Naval Operations, who's the most senior guy in the Navy. The only people who are more senior to him is the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States. He came to my little ship in Yokosuka, Japan and he didn't go to any other ship, only my little ship and had CNOs calling.

He said, "This is my vision of the Navy," blah, blah, whatever. I have no idea what he said. And then he said, "Does anyone have any questions?"

I was the second person he called on. And I said, "Hey, I joined the Navy to become a Navy SEAL. I think I deserve a chance to go. My detailer won't let me go. He says I'm too critical. What do you think? What do you think?”

He turns to my commanding officer and he's like, "Is he a good guy?"

My CO says, "Yes, he was a sailor of the quarter this quarter," which is like employee of the month because I did a good job sweeping or something — I'm not really sure! And so, he turns back to me, he's like, "Check, you'll be in the first class after your PRD [plan rotational date].” Six weeks later, I'm off to California to SEAL training.

Amazing. Blasting through that middle road bureaucracy straight away.

Right. Cut right through, went pretty much right to the top.

Back to the second guy that I went to see after my injury. I'm crying. Tears are pouring down my face. I'm jittery lip. And I'm like, "Please don't let me go. If I leave, I may not have an opportunity to come back because it took the CNO to get me here today."

Yeah, and what are the odds that he's going to come back to to the ship?

Right!? May run back into him, “By the way, I know you let me go and I got hurt and they kicked me out, but can you send me back!?”

So, the second guy said, "Go stand outside. I'll be right back." He left. I'm standing outside on my crutches, still crying. "Oh, my God. What's going to happen next?"

He came back three and a half later hours later. He's like, "What are you doing here?" I'm like, "You told me to wait outside. I'll do whatever I need to do." And he's like, "Go check in and you'll be in the next class. We're going to roll you." I'm like, "Okay. Awesome."

And so, I never healed up and I pretty much just had to limp my way all the way through, up until Hell Week. At that time, Hell Week was week number five or six — I don't remember. They keep changing the days of when Hell Week starts.

But I had to pass enough events to make it to Hell Week because they will kick you out if you don't meet at least the minimum standard. And so, I remember I was failing the four-mile time runs. One day, I woke up and I was like, "I'm going to crush this thing today.”

"One day, I woke up and I was like, "I'm going to crush this thing today."

The run was after lunch. I stayed back from lunch because you run hundreds of miles a week, between the training events that you do. You even run six miles a day just to eat. You run a mile to the galley. You eat. You run a mile back to the compound, a mile for lunch and a mile back and a mile for dinner and a mile back.

So, I just stayed back from lunch. I helped prepare the boats for the event that we were going to have after the four-mile time run. And it was just like something in my mind, I just clicked. And I was like, "I'm going to crush this thing today.”

Thank the Lord that happened, because that was the one event that helped get me to Hell Week.

Hell Week is five and a half days of absolute misery. You don't sleep — and they don't let you sleep. Actually, they let us sleep for about three hours on Wednesday night.

When they woke us up that Thursday morning, that was probably the most terrible thing they could have done because I remember we're in a tent. We're finally dry for the first time in three or four days.

I had stopped moving, so my body started to shut down to start that healing process and start swelling up. And then they come in, "We told you not to sleep." And of course, you can't not sleep. It's warm. I'm laying down. I'm not moving. And I haven't slept for three and a half days.

I run outside, look around, and I'm like, "Where did everybody go?" That's the first time I've realized we'd lost so many people. 

In SEAL training, you lose about 70% of the people from day one up until Hell Week. And then Hell Week, you lose about 70% more of whoever's left over. And then of those people who graduate Hell Week, you have about 80% of those people actually graduate, so you still lose people along the way for different reasons.

But I remember, it was super foggy. Southern California people think that it's nice and warm and toasty and the water's warm, but the water's not warm at all. It was foggy. I couldn't even see the water and the water was maybe 50 yards away.

I was like, "Where did everybody go?" And then they were like, "All right. Because you guys suck so bad and you slept when we told you not to sleep, go hit the surf." And I was like, "Oh, I don't want to get in the water." 

I remember grabbing myself, like physically grabbed my uniform, and I threw myself in the water. I'm like, "Okay, I'm good now."

But yeah, that was … it wasn't a point of weakness, but a point of like, "I don't want to do this." The whole rest of my time there, I was like, "I want to do this." It was hard. It was absolutely miserable. And I was going through Hell Week broken, but somehow during Hell Week, I healed up and I was good to go after that.

You mentioned the statistics there on people quitting. There's the infamous brass bell that just sits there. 

Can you take us into the bell and the mental battle that is for the candidates who were there?

Yeah, so BUD/S is broken up into four phases. The fourth phase, which is actually the first phase, is the preparation phase and then the actual first phase is called first phase and there's a bell that sits outside.

There are a set of footprints that sit in front of that bell. And they have a bell that they carry with them. So, you can be out, laying out in the ocean, shivering miserably and if you decide to quit, you can get up and you can go ring the bell. But you don't ring it once. You ring it three times.

If you decide to quit, you can get up and you can go ring the bell.

But then after you quit, you go and you put on a clean uniform with your helmet and you go to the first phase office and then you ring the bell three times and then you take your helmet off and you put it in line.

Today, I travel around and I give presentations on the "Get NAKED" mindset. NAKED is an acronym and the ‘N’ stands for ‘Never quit.’ And in that presentation, I have a picture of the bell and a line of 150 green helmets of all these guys that have quit.

And it's not easy to get to SEAL training, but we still don't understand what makes someone stay and what makes someone not want to be there.

You mentioned preparation earlier and how you felt you weren't adequately prepared for the training.

Yeah.

The statistics on how many people drop out seem to remain the same. How come, with so much more information available, more people better prepared to go through it?

Do the BUD/S organizers simply do such a great job of mixing up the training?

It's a really good question.

We have a higher candidate of student come in now. I remember in some of my leadership roles in the SEAL Teams, I had a guy, he was a doctor on the outside. He came in as an enlisted SEAL. Not an officer like he should have been.

He’s like, "The quickest way for me to become a SEAL is to go to BUD/S as if I don't have a degree and go through the training." And he made it.

I had another guy who was an aeronautical engineer. He used to work for NASA and he was like, "I want to go become a Navy SEAL."

So, when these guys were working for me, I'm like, "I'm not qualified. You're highly educated. I have a public high school diploma and you're so much more educated than I am!”

I've worked on zero spaceships!

Exactly!

But I think now, it's very sexy, it's very Hollywood, very in your face. People don't recognize the true discipline that it is required to complete SEAL training. The passion, the desire, it has to be in your heart — it’s not in your mind.

People don't recognize the true discipline that it is required to complete SEAL training.

I mean, it's in your mind, but it has to be in your heart, and if you're not willing to accept failure along the way … because you're going to fail.

I saw guys that were absolute studs. I looked up to them. I was like, "This was easy for you." They would quit because they didn't like the water, or the water was too cold, or they couldn't stand the thought of being told they weren't good enough.

Wow.

They're used to winning in everything in their life and they couldn't stand the thought of being told, "You suck. Oh, yeah, you won. Now, you lost. Yeah, no, that pushup didn't count. That pull up didn't count." And it broke them on the inside.

I just want to be really clear on that. You perhaps felt inferior just looking at the physical capabilities, or what they’d achieved beforehand, and that made you feel like, "Wow, what am I even doing here?" or "I've maybe even got no chance.”

But through the background and the mental tenacity and persistence that you had, you were able to beat all these people, who on paper or visually, looked like they would be much better candidates?

Exactly.

It was weird for me to see people quit. I was like, "Why would you quit!?” It's so much work just to get here. And the consequences of quitting are that you go to the regular Navy. I already spent time in the regular Navy and I was like, "That was way more punishment than whatever we're doing here. This is fun!”

You'll have to carry me out of here!

I mean, it sucks. Yeah, but the only way I'm leaving is on a stretcher out the backdoor.

As you mentioned there, they're looking for the people who don't quit — the people who want it the most. But as part of that, you're in these small groups trying to do better than the other groups that are there in the training.

What are you doing to form that camaraderie and that bond as quickly as possible to make sure that you beat those other groups?

So, while I was in SEAL training for 13 months, I went through the first phase three times. And in the beginning, I was building these bonds with guys and then they would quit. 

I was like, "What happened? Why? I don't understand it." So, at some point I became pretty callous, pretty cold. I still wanted to have bonds with guys, but if a guy wanted to quit, I’d be like, "There's the door." I would help push them along. "You're in my way right now. You're slowing me down. I want to actually win races."

I still wanted to have bonds with guys, but if a guy wanted to quit, I’d be like, "There's the door."

And in Hell Week, I saw a boat crew that was winning every race from Sunday night into Monday. And I'm like, "These guys are holding me back. I want to be with the winners.”

So, at Monday afternoon, before dinner, we had lost so many people that they had to reshuffle the boat crews and you get in a boat crew based on your height. And I was like, "I'm going to do what I need to do right now to be with surrounded by winners."

I want to be in Boat Crew 3. I'm right at six feet tall and again, it was by height. So, Boat Crew 1 is where all the big guys, Boat Crew 2 more big guys, but not quite as big as Boat Crew 1, and Boat Crew 3 are average guys. And I got into that Boat Crew.

You have seven guys in the boat crew. So, I was like, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 that's Boat Crew 1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I believe I'm number six and then whoever's number seven." And that's how I stayed in that boat group.

When I got in there and I looked around, I was like, "Everybody was just average regular guys in that boat group. There were no superstars." But no matter what we were doing — if we were going to chow or we were doing an actual race — by me surrounding myself with guys that were performing better than me, that brought me up to their standard. I had to raise my own bar to their level.

If I want to be with those people, I have to push myself beyond what I think my limits are.

Even though I would feel sorry for myself and want to slow down or whatever, I'm like if I slow down, then I'm letting them down and I'm slowing them down. And now, they're dragging me. I'm not going to be that guy.

So, that was part of just my desire to be there. And it helped change my own mindset because I wasn't really surrounded by people like that growing up. There were the star athletes, the star students, and there was me.

I was like, "I'm not as good as any of those people. But if I want to be with those people, I have to push myself beyond what I think my limits are."

And it's something I've heard you say before, "If you're going to suffer, at least suffer at the front of the pack."

Suffer in the front, yeah, 100%. I learned that lesson in that boat crew.

You're going to suffer. It doesn't matter what you're doing in life — in entrepreneurship, in relationships — you’re going to suffer at some point. So it's better to suffer in the front than it is to suffer in the back.
When you suffer in the front, you're going to finish more quickly. You're going to get there a lot faster. If you suffer in the back, it's just going to take you that much longer and it still sucks.

The people who quit, did they ever verbalize their intentions?

Were they ever like, "Look, I'm not feeling it," or "I feel like maybe this is the day for me," or would they just ghost out of there?

Again, a lot of times I didn't even see when people quit. They were just not there anymore.

You’re going to suffer at some point. So it's better to suffer in the front than it is to suffer in the back.

I was just so focused on, "I just got to get through this next evolution." One more small victory at a time.

And would that give you confidence knowing that you were still there, still standing?

I think so, yeah.

I don't think I thought about it like that. It was like, "Well, okay, I've made it one more day. Okay, this is the furthest I've made it. I don't know what to expect from here on out, so I made it again."

And the guys I want to be around are still here.

Once you officially became a SEAL and you were sent on your first combat mission, how did you feel — was it excitement, nerves? And how did you prepare for that moment mentally?

I didn't really know what I was prepared for because when I came in, there was no combat operations. When we deployed, we deployed to either ride on a ship to do counter, to board other ships that may be carrying weapons or paraphernalia or contraband from other countries or counterpiracy operations.

We also deployed to Europe to train with other Special Forces and share tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Then after 9/11, we started deploying to combat. We started deploying to Afghanistan first and later to Iraq and so, my first combat deployment was to Afghanistan. 

I actually deployed there in an administrative role because I was part of the headquarters at that time and they needed people to do these admin jobs in Afghanistan. I'm like, “Okay, sure. I'll go.” Because if I'm not there, I'm not relevant.

So, I went there. I eventually got out and I was with the actual SEAL platoon that was there. I was a SEAL, but I was in headquarters. And I'm like, "I'll drive. I'll be security. I'll do whatever I need to do!”

Looking for action?

Yeah, just like I want to be a part of it. I need to learn from it because I know my next position is going to be at the SEAL team in a leadership role. I feel like I should have some experience under my belt in combat, in order to fulfill that role as a leader who is training guys and leading guys into combat. 

I remember the guy who was in charge of that platoon that I joined up with, and he was like, "All I've wanted to do is lead men in combat.”

I'm like, "I'd never really thought about that." And so now, I'm thinking about it.  Really, it was survive. Learn as much as I could from this group of people. My first time in combat, it was their first time in combat as well. But really it was a learning experience and as long as I continued to embrace the learning experience, I would only get better.

How about the culture shock being dropped into a literal war zone, places like Afghanistan and Iraq?

It was weird because unless you were involved in a gunfight or something like that, when you're driving around the country, you just see regular people.

Afghanistan, I was like, "Oh, this is a fourth world country. Way below third world country." They're poor, but there are kids playing soccer and wearing brightly colored clothes and they live in mud huts. And I can't even describe how terrible of living experience that is, but that's how they live and they survived. And I'm like, "What the ... is this?”

Being in combat was easy because we trained for it.

That was more weird than being in combat because we trained to be in combat. But to interact with these people that lived like this, the first time I came back from Afghanistan, I was like, "We have so much opulence here." We waste so much. I can't even believe it.

The same thing for Iraq. It’s more of a metropolis if you will, but still, bad construction, not good. It's not the same standard. But outside of Baghdad, certainly not Afghanistan, they have more stuff, more infrastructure for sure, but still very poor. Very. 

Being in combat was easy because we trained for it. Some of the stuff that we did was not easy and some of the situations that we found ourself in was not easy. But I think just the culture from being in the United States or in Europe or wherever, and then being in one of those countries was like, "Holy, how do people live this?"

Are you provided with language training, in case you find yourself in a situation where you may need to read or communicate with someone?

There is language training. I've never really had any. Every time I've deployed, I learn some of the language, but we usually take translators with us to help with documents or interrogation in the battlefield or things that.

What was the moment you won that self-worth battle after what you've shared about where you grew up and all those things?

That self-worth battle where you realized and acknowledged, "Yes, I'm a SEAL. Yes, I'm elite. Yes, I belong here.”

I think I still battle that.

A little bit of imposter syndrome?

100%, yeah.

I was thinking about that right before the show. I was writing email or an email about it yesterday on the airplane. And I certainly do, but I think that that's something that I'm turning into a superpower.

What I realized is the preparation, it causes me to put more into the preparation of something. Whether it's preparing for a podcast, preparing to speak in front of a crowd of people, a business, or pretty much anything else in my life, a physical event.

You and I talked about doing the “Murph” [CrossFit workout] earlier. I wasn't prepared to do that, but I've maintained a level of physical fitness that helped me get through that event.

I have my little gym out in my driveway and my neighbors walk by, walk their dogs and they're like, "Why do you work so hard?”

Or I drag a tire around the neighborhood. They say, "Why are you dragging that?”

I want to be hard to kill. I don't want to be an easy target. Ever.

And I’m thinking, ”Well, it's not going to drag itself. I'm just taking my tire for a walk, no big deal!” 

When someone asks me, "Why are you doing that?" I'm like, "Well, because I want to be hard to kill. I don't want to be an easy target. Ever.”

Really, it's about preparation. It's mental preparation. It's physical preparation. Because when you do hard things, when hard things happen to you, you're more prepared — whether it's physically or mentally or emotionally.

Soft times make soft people?

Right.

You specialized in undersea operations for a big part of your carer, where the missions could only be approved by the President. What's an example of a mission like that?

There are strategically important things that we need as the United States. And we would go and figure those things out, or go and see, and report back.

Anymore specifics on what that might entail?

I remember before the Iraq War, there were reports of the British SAS who would go in there to secure oil sites and that type of thing. 

Right.

Were they more pre-war missions that you’re doing?

Those were some of it.

So, in early Iraq, we might have used one of those small undersea vehicles to get into an area to gather some intelligence or drop something off. Maybe put something on the side of a vessel that we want to track or something like that.

But the reason that it has to be approved at such a high level is because of the strategic importance and … how can I say this … the consequences of failure. Failure means that potentially, my face is on Al Jazeera or in some place that maybe it shouldn't be.

So, the reason that it gets that level of approval is the President of the United States is accepting the risk of these potential consequences.

And we would call those ‘No fail missions’. It's like failure is not an option doing something like this. So, the preparation that goes into the mission planning and the mission execution, we will plan every possible contingency along the way to make sure that, if something happens, this is how we're going to handle it.

We will plan every possible contingency along the way to make sure that, if something happens, this is how we're going to handle it.

For example, if someone dies in the back, or there’s an emergency with one of the guys in the back of the boat.

If we're in an enemy harbor somewhere doing something, well, we're not going to surface the boat. Sorry. We have to handle that on the backside.

It’s a shame that people have absolutely zero context of all these other things that are going on. You know the Winston Churchill quote: “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

Something like that, yeah.

Earlier you mentioned Boat Three and the high performing individuals. Once you’re successfully in the Teams you’re surrounded by superstars. You’ve got strong relationships with Special Forces of other countries, like you mentioned. 

How motivating is it to be around those other high-performing individuals?

Super, super motivating. I mean, now that I'm out of the SEAL Teams, I still do my best to surround myself with high performers.

My transition from military to civilian life was really the hardest military mission I've ever been on. And I equate it to, if you've ever seen the movie, The Avengers where Thanos snaps his fingers and half the world's population goes away and everyone is like, "What happened?" That was how I felt when I left the military.

When I left the military, I had no team, I had no mission, and I had no purpose.

I was like I had a badass team, a badass mission, and a badass purpose. And when I left the military, I had no team, I had no mission, and I had no purpose. So, I've had to rebuild that and bring that back to where I want it, to where I feel like I have mission and a purpose.

And I'm surrounding myself with high performers to build my new SEAL team.

We've mentioned a couple of movies today. How well do movies like Lone Survivor and American Sniper capture the essence of what it would be like on the ground and that unpredictability of combat?

I haven't watched them.

Is that a conscious decision?

Probably, yeah.

I mean, I've seen things on TV and I'm like, "I can't watch that. That's wrong. What are they doing!?” I can't not critique it, so better to not drive myself crazy.

It's funny. I guess, there's a TV series called SEAL Teams. And one of my business coaches, he's like, "How real is it?" I'm like, "I have no idea. I've never seen it. I can't tell you. I don't know.”

But what I can tell you is it's not as sexy as it looks on TV. There are some parts that are super awesome, but what they don't show is all the work and preparation and struggle that goes into it. Everything in the SEAL Teams is not sexy. It's a lot of work and a lot of failure and a lot of admin stuff.

In order to do that 1% of sexiness, there's a lot of work and time and effort that goes into it. But if you did a good job on that 99% part, that 1% is super fun and super cool.

There's an article I read when I was in high school about Australia's involvement in East Timor. It mentioned a member of the SAS [Special Air Service] who was shot in the neck, was able to fix his wound, realized he wasn't going to die, and could get back in the fight.

How do you even prepare and train for situations like that? If preparation is such a big thing, how do you prepare to potentially take a hit and still be in the fight?

I think it's mindset. And again, that goes back to training in the first place.

Just going through SEAL training or going through the Green Beret Q course or things like that. You're surrounded by people who have already done it. All of the instructors, they've already done it. When you get to the SEAL Teams, they all went through the same training that you are going through.

Plus, we’re always raising the bar. So, there's a saying, “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.” And that's absolutely true.

You certainly get into real gunfights with other SEALs.

We raised the bar on training, probably more than other units, just because we do force on force training with paint rounds — not live rounds, because we don't want to kill one another — but you certainly get into real gunfights with other SEALs on the training side, who are your opposition force.

And they're trying to take you down. You get hit, then you still have to move forward and still attack the target. You're shot in the face or whatever it is, you get back up and keep going.

But it's building that mentality of it doesn't matter how much it sucks, you have to keep pushing through the pain and you have to eliminate the enemy. Because if you quit somewhere out there, that's just part of that No Quit attitude. If you quit just because you got shot, unless you're completely out of the fight and you can't fight back then, how did you even get that far along the way?

So, I gave a speech before this workout event called the ‘Murph’ a few days ago. Lieutenant Michael Murphy was the SEAL who was shot in the stomach — then he still was able to get up and climb on top of the highest peak he could to make the call for hopefully a rescue mission.

In doing so, he had to completely expose himself to the enemy. Then he was shot again. Even after that, he still continued to fight.

I remember a young Lieutenant in Afghanistan, he stepped on an IED. He lost his leg. He was still fighting. He was still giving orders on the battlefield. He lost his leg and was like, "Okay, I'm still directing traffic. I'm still leading. I'm still fighting.”

Only when the morphine kicked in — and the platoon chief had to relieve him of duty — because once the morphine kicks in, your judgment is impaired at that point. But even though he was missing a leg, he was still completely in the fight — and fighting and going after it until he was not allowed to anymore.

And so, it's just a mindset. I think we all can have it. You've seen or heard stories about how the adrenaline kicked in where a mother lifted a car off of her child or whatever?

Yeah, super human.

Yeah. We all have the ability to continue to fight, even when things are not good. We just have to make the conscious effort to tap into that.

You mentioned that your job as an active SEAL is to raise the bar and you're surrounded by the mentors who are really asking you to do something. They're not asking you to do something that they haven't done or been willing to do themselves. Is that right?

Yeah.

Gee, the power and inspiration around that group must have been extraordinary. And you’ve already mentioned how elite training leads to elite results on the battlefield. 

One of the cool things about the SEAL Teams is even guys that were junior to me, they would raise me up. Maybe I would show up and I would have an off day. I would show up and they would hold me to a higher standard. It's like, "What's up? It's time to work!” 

I'm like, "You're right. Let's go. It's time to work." Because obviously, I would hold them to a higher standard. So, it was awesome being surrounded by that camaraderie.

You're shot in the face or whatever it is, you get back up and keep going.

Even going back to Boat Crew 3 in Hell Week, they held me to a higher standard. And so, I know without a doubt that every one of those guys had moments of weakness, but we weren't going to let one another down. And there was no written or spoken agreement in the boat crew.

It was just the desire to win. It was the desire to be in the front. To suffer in the front.

Last year, Afghanistan had a very public power transfer back to the Taliban. Weapons and armor were seized, all those types of things. Taliban rules were brought back in. Even recently, it was announced that girls are now banned from attending school after the sixth grade.

That being said, the US, obviously, can't stay there forever — and 20 years is a long, long time with a great, great cost as well.

How do you feel about the timing and effectiveness of that withdrawal? And would anyone in the Teams, would that affect their mentality with future conflicts in that region?

Ooh, that's a tough question. I think every single person in the Teams, they will go back and do it all over again. They would just hope that the leadership makes better decisions than the decisions that were made to pull out in the way that we pulled out.

I can certainly go down that road and rant. But I would say that was a failure of leadership — on many levels.

It's important to share that because most people just read whatever news source they read, and seek confirmation bias. And that’s people on either side of the aisle. It’s refreshing to go straight to the source to hear these things.

Right. 

I mean, it was absolutely leadership failure. The intel agencies, they knew what was going on. There was a right way and a wrong way. Certainly, we could have pulled out at the exact same moment, but it was the way that we pulled out is really, I think, the biggest issue.

You've mentioned some of the sacrifices and things that you've been involved in and seen. I mean, I can only imagine what that would entail after 26 years of your career. 

When you come back home and you see people who aren't aware of these sacrifices, or taking life for granted, or even worse, they're doing things to actively damage society.

How do you feel about those people? Is it just a matter of taking the good with the bad or does it hurt you a little bit to see some people not recognize how grateful they should be to live in a country like America or Australia?

We have very short attention spans and I think we rely too heavily on the media. 

If you've ever seen how a coup works, the military, they come and rise up. They come into the country to take over, and the first place they go is to the news organization … and then they go to the capital.

They take over those two places first and then they're able to control the population. If you control the narrative, then you control the population. So, the capital is just a building, but it's a symbol of authority. The media is a symbol of knowledge, if you will.

And 9/11 was almost 21 years ago. I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened. I remember how the world thought about the United States. And I know how the people of the United States thought about the United States. I'm sure Australia was the same. They're like, "We got your back." 

I've fought with Australians in Iraq and in Afghanistan. I think the media has an agenda and their agenda is to sell stuff. Sell news, instill fear.

If you control the narrative, then you control the population.

And I'll give you an example. I hadn't watched the news in years. Mostly because when I was in Afghanistan, I was part of operations and then I saw the news stories that came out from those operations. My job was to lead men in combat and then go into combat and do those things. I did not care what the media had to say. It wasn't a conscious effort, but I knew that the media reported things incorrectly.

And then, a couple of years ago before this last election, I had no idea that people had such disdain for Trump. I'm like, "Whatever. He's a President." He says weird stuff on Twitter and I see weird little headlines. I'm like, "Whatever." You already knew who that was.

I'm supporting patriots and first responders and someone was like, "Well, you don't want to be a Trumper, do you?" I'm like, "What's a Trumper? What does that even mean?" 

I had no idea that there was all this and I think it's interesting that people are still talking about the man that's not in office anymore. What's going on here!? 

But yeah, I mean, we forget. We only care about what the media is telling us today. And we listen to the media. We have very short attention spans. I mean, TikTok is the biggest growing platform in the world. I post videos on TikTok and my average view is 26 seconds for my high performing videos. And it's just me sharing the Navy SEAL mindset.

This current generation consumes media with a very short attention span. And that's how we focus on everything.

Yeah, the short attention span and pursuit of confirmation bias, it's tough.

Right, but it's that instant gratification. We forgot about work and work ethic and doing hard things and having goals. We're just like, "I can order ice cream by hitting a button on my phone and have it delivered to my house." 

I remember making ice cream with my grandparents! It took hours to do that, but it was really good.

When you see the really public missions like Captain Phillips or Bin Laden, do you and the other SEALs feel proud to be associated with that, or are you thinking, "God, I wish I was involved in that mission!”?

I would love to have been involved in both of those missions. I know guys that were involved in both of those missions.

It's interesting. When I was in the SEAL Teams, when I saw people come out and say political things about it, I was angry with them. Because they teach us in the SEAL Teams, "Do not advertise the nature of your work." I'm not in the SEAL Teams anymore, so I can tell people what I do.

But when I was in the SEAL Teams, I almost never said that I'm a Navy SEAL. I'm in the Navy. I do Navy stuff. And so, I've changed my perspective on how I represent myself and how I do, but I always represent the SEAL Teams in the highest regard. Not to ever … what am I looking for?

Individual credit rather than the team?

Well, it's all individual and it's all team. I mean, you never put the team like, "I'm better than the team." I'm only here because of the SEAL Teams, because of the great work that the SEAL Teams have done.

There were no superstars in that group. We were all regular Joes, but we all had a different mindset. We wanted to suffer in the front.

There are zero organizations in the world that are successful because of an individual. Like I said, we'll just go back to Boat Crew 3. There were no superstars in that group. We were all regular Joes, but we all had a different mindset. We wanted to suffer in the front.

You retired after 26 years as a Navy SEAL. How did you know it was time to move on, and what do you miss most about in that career?

The Navy said it was time for me to move on. They only let you stay in the military for a certain amount of time. I would still be in there right now!

Because again, it was just part of the team, the camaraderie, the mission, the purpose. I woke up every morning, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I knew why I was going to do it. I knew who I was going to do it with. 

When I “retired” — and I use air quotes, because I never retired, just transitioned to different occupations — I had to figure out what that was. Yeah, so I would absolutely go back in into the SEAL Teams right now.

There are zero organizations in the world that are successful because of an individual.

It's a little weird politically and there's some different restrictions that are going on. Actually, I was going to say, there's no real active combat operations, but there are operations going on all over the world right now, just in a little bit of a different capacity. 

But still, you can certainly still go out there and do great things and you can certainly go out there and not come home based on things that we're still doing. So I would absolutely go back and do it. I loved every second of what I was doing. Even when I was miserable, I still loved it.

What are the biggest lessons you took from that Navy SEAL career that you've been able to apply in business?

Golly, there's so many. 

I have this Get NAKED mindset and like I said, in the beginning, NAKED is an acronym and so, N stands for Never Quit. I don't mean never quit smoking or drinking or things like that. I mean, never quit on yourself. Never quit trying to improve where you are. 

The A is accept failure because failure has been the biggest teacher of my life, bar none. If you said, "I'll give you $10 million if you never have any of those failures again and you take them?" I would say, "You keep your money. I'll make my $10 million over here, through failure."

The K is kill mediocrity, because we're so okay with the status quo. We're okay with good enough. And you have to learn how to kill the mediocrity that you have in your life. Mediocrity is easy to do. How easy is it to get scrolling on social media and TikTok and whatever, and just be okay with good enough?

There's a time where good enough is good enough. I know people who will nuke something to such a level and then never produce the content or never launch the business because they want to make everything perfect. At that point, 80% solution is good enough, a 20% solution is probably not good enough. Just do it yourself and let's go.

Never quit on yourself. Never quit trying to improve where you are. 

The E is expose your fears. And I'm not talking lion, tigers, and bears. I mean, those fears that live in the back of your brain that you don't want to share with anyone. Those fears that keep you up at night. Those conversations or arguments maybe that you have with yourself when you're alone in your car or they wake you up or that keep you from attacking your goals and achieving the things that you want in your life. So, being able to expose those fears, there's lots of ways to do it.

And the D is to do the work. Again, going back to that instant gratification. And this was a mindset that I came up with. When I got out of the military, I had all this negative self-talk. A lot of “baggage,” I call it. 

What I had to do is at some point was to do something about it. CBD was a modality that helped turn this noise down in my head. That's why I started Naked Warrior Recovery — because CBD had such a positive impact on my life. I wanted to produce the highest quality CBD on the planet. So, as CBD helped turn down the noise in my head, I was able to have better positive self-talk.

Then, from there, I came up with the Get NAKED mindset, which is that Never quit, Accept failure, Kill mediocrity, Expose your fears, and Do the work. 

Really, it's like taking your ego off and being brave enough to be vulnerable, so that you can find the healing. We’re too afraid to tell anyone that we're afraid or that we need help. 

That takes more courage than pretty much anything. It’s one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. And I've done some pretty hard things and been in some scary places! Just being vulnerable enough to ask for help has been a game changer.

I can imagine that would be such a hard thing to do especially for alphas or those in law enforcement. 

100%.

Was there a particularly dark day where you realized, "Look, enough is enough. I've got to go on and go down this route?"

I don't know that there was one specific day. 

I do know the day that I first tried CBD. I didn't notice anything when I tried it, but what I noticed is over the 30 days or so that I used the product that — I like to say water boils at 212 degrees and I was probably living my life at 210 degrees on a daily basis, so it didn't take much to hit that boiling point.

Just being vulnerable enough to ask for help has been a game changer.

And what I noticed is over time, I went from 210 to 205 to 200 to 195 to 190, maybe 185. I got out of that red zone, so my fuse was longer. I had still these triggers would kick in and I would still be angry, but I had more time to, and self-awareness to react or I'm sorry, respond rather than react to whatever those triggers were.

And this, you mentioned 210 degrees there, this was after you had retired as well?

Yeah.

Just in civilian life? So, a lot of that stuff could just sneak up on you.

Yeah. As I've gone down this road, I've found that it's not just special operators that have issues. First responders, stay-at-home moms. People in toxic relationships have these same issues, but they don't want to put their stuff out there in the world. 

They think they can fix it. They think they can outperform whatever that thing is. It's not worth the effort. It's not worth the pain. Sometimes it's better to just face the pain and rip the Band-Aid off, instead of trying to pull it off slowly or trying to keep it on.

Yeah, especially if it's impacting a lot of people, like partners, children, or family members.

100%.

Quality and transparency is such a big thing for you with your company Naked Warrior Recovery. 

How do you focus on making sure that you have the highest quality and maintain that transparency throughout the manufacturing process?

We do independent third party testing twice. So, when the oil is extracted from the hemp plant, we send it off to an independent third party lab to make sure it's high quality. There's no pesticides, herbicides. It's all USDA-certified organic, but we still test it anyway. 

Then we take the oil. We run it through the manufacturing process to make gummies, to make energy drinks, to make the tinctures, to make topicals.

Then we take that final product and we send that off to another independent third party lab and have them test the product to make sure that it actually has what we say it has in it. And to make sure there was no contamination in the manufacturing process.


Check out the YouTube or podcast version where William Branum does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give his 18-year-old self, the one thing on his bucket list, and a whole lot more🚀


And then we put a QR code on the back of it, so every batch of products that we make, we put the lab testing online, so you can go in and you can see exactly what you're putting into your body.

Because if you're putting something into your body to be a medicine, you don't want to be putting a bunch of toxins and poisons into your body at the same time, which is a big problem because hemp is a bio accumulator. It pulls all the good stuff out of the soil, but it also pulls all the bad stuff out of the soil. 

It's such a powerful bio accumulator that they're using hemp at Chernobyl to clean the radiation out of the soil to maybe repopulate that area one day. So, you don't want any Chernobyl CBD, for sure!

And it's a very saturated market. You can find CBD store on just about every corner of America. I have people, they will ask me like, "Well, what's the difference between your product and that product or the product I can get in the gas station?" My reply is, "So, what's the difference between gas station sushi and the sushi that you get in a sushi house!?”

Why do you want to roll the dice with gas station sushi!? There is a difference.

Any wins that stand out since you've created the company or even some transformations that you've been able to help for people along the way? Obviously, you've mentioned your own transformation, which has been huge.

Yeah, I mean, certainly my transformation. And we just went through this whole global pandemic coronavirus thing and what that did is that forced me to slow down and do a little more inward work. Helped me come up with the Get NAKED mindset.

If you want the Get NAKED mindset, you can go to 5SEALsecrets.com to get it. Just put your name and email in there, I'll send you a PDF of it. I'll eventually turn that into a book with more lessons learned and some cool stories and things like that.

But it has also allowed me to find opportunities to get on stage and speak to people and help impact people's lives. Even just this event that I was at this past weekend, I had so many people on Instagram, going back to that imposter syndrome, I'm like I don't know if I did a good job or not. 

Failure has been the biggest teacher in my life.

I had a guy from Australia who said, "That's the most impactful speech I've ever heard in my life." I had so many people say that. And I was like, "Really? Oh, thank you.”

I don't know that I did a great job! Sometimes, I stutter. I'm afraid of public speaking. I may mess up. I tell people a lot of times when I get up and I speak on stage that I'm more comfortable in a gunfight than I am talking to people in public. Probably because I'm trained to do that. I'm not trained to stand in front of a bunch of people and a bunch of strangers and tell them stories.

Jerry Seinfeld said that public speaking is the number one fear. More people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy!

Yeah, I think that's very true.

Some of that is exposing my own fears, like “I have a fear of public speaking. Let's do it. Let's create a keynote and deliver that to as many people as possible!”

I want to make sure we're really specific on this because it's so important, especially after what's been happening in the last two and a half years with COVID. 

A lot of people have been struggling, and a lot of the problems are from people self-medicating, domestic violence, depression. A lot of things have happened behind the scenes as a result of COVID.

For people who don't go and use something like CBD, or who don't become upfront about the baggage, that is when they go and do things like alcohol and prescription drugs. And that was the route that you were on for a while?

Yeah, 100%. So, I would use alcohol to turn the noise down or to dull out the noise, so that I could go to sleep. 

And if you phrase it a little bit differently, I would drink and then I would have another drink and then another drink. Pretty much, I was just drinking until I fell asleep or until I passed out, depending on how you phrase it, how you're framing that. But yeah, I think that's true for everyone.

I have a sleep product that I pretty much rely on without question. I stress out a little bit when I run out of my own product. I'm like, "Oh, my God. I got to get more!” Because I'm a creature of habit and sometimes I feel like I need to have that alcohol. 

This is just my own personal story, but I'm a little bit ADD and have FOMO and some other stuff going on. I'll be working later at night when I should be going to bed or maybe I'll watch one more YouTube video.

I'm more comfortable in a gunfight than I am talking to people in public.

And so, I have this sleep product and it has some melatonin CBD and CBN in it. CBD is the sedated molecule in the hemp plant. I'll take it about an hour before I'm ready to go to bed.

Then I'll hit that point where I'm tired, but I’ll be like, "Let me finish this thing I'm working on or let me watch one more video of whatever," or something stupid like that, and I push through that tiredness.

Then I'm on my second wind, and I'm up until 1:00 or 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, I'm like, "Oh, maybe I should have a drink to calm back down.” And then that doesn't work — and I end up back in the same downward spiral.

So, with the sleep product, I take it about an hour before I go to bed a little bit after dinner. Then once I hit that tiredness, I can never recover and get that second wind. It's awesome. And so, I'm like, "Okay, stupid, go to bed!”

We got some questions now from the Win the Day community. We had so many come in, so I've tried to pick the best from here. 

And if you would to ask a question and find out what guests we have coming up on the show, make sure we join the Win the Day group on Facebook.

The first question comes from Nathan in Sydney:

“What are your tips for disconnecting and unwinding from the harsh components of the job?"

That's a good question. The answer is to be able to disconnect sometimes

I'll give you just a quick story on how I did it in SEAL training, once upon a time in Hell Week. You have breakout, which is the first hour or two, and it's just like guns and explosions. And they're telling you to do all these things and it's just absolute chaos, because they’re trying to replicate combat. 

One of the guys who had already been through Hell Week, but he was injured and he was recovering, so he could join back in the next class, he said, "While you're in Hell Week, during that breakout session, at some point, step off to the side, stop and look around and see what's going on."

And I was like, "Okay, check. That seems cool." And then at some point I remembered that. One of the instructors was like, "Go, hit the surf." And so, I grabbed a swim buddy and I let my boat crew leader know, "Hey, I'm going to go hit the surf. I'll let you know when we get back." 

So I'm taking James with me. So when we run down and we hit the surf and we come back, "Hey, we're back." And instead of me going back and start doing eight count body builders or whatever silly thing they were having us do, yelling, I just stopped and I looked around. 

I was like, "Holy crap.” The building around the BUD/S compound, it's two stories and there are balconies outside. It was full of people. I had no idea all those people were there. I was looking at people and then I looked at all the chaos that was going on and I was like, "Oh, this is cool." 

Find a way to step back, remove yourself from the chaos mentally, and think about it.

So, just taking a second, a minute to stop looking completely into the chaos that you're in, if you can find a way to step back, remove yourself from the chaos mentally, and think about it. Look around and see what's actually going on.

And I see this in businesses — because I do a little bit of business and leadership coaching — and I see the employees they're so involved in what's going on with them. They're like, "We should be doing this and this and this." And they don't stop to ask why the business is doing the things that the business is doing.

But leaders at the top, they need to be aware of what's going on with the people, their employees and what's going on with the employees and why they're happy or unhappy or whatever, and get down to that deck plate level. "This is why we're doing this. I understand that you have concerns about this, but this is why we're doing it. And if we can have some compromise in the middle, we will." 

But you have to be able to, it's hard to say don't be emotionally involved because you're going to be emotionally involved. But if you can find a way to detach and just be a little less emotional and look at it from a different perspective, say, "What if it were me?” Then, I think it will be a little easier to do that.

Gerald in Southern California asked:

“What qualities or attributes would you say that you've accumulated during your military career would help leaders in the private sector or even in law enforcement?”

That's a broad question.

I think on the leadership side, really listening to what your people have to say. I talk about these Five SEAL Secrets of Leadership, and one of those is a decentralized command and control, which is why we're very effective on the battlefield. Where me as a leader, I will train you on how to do your job very, very well and I'll say, "Go do that."

This commander's intent. "Go do that. And you don't need to report back to me. I don't need to tell you how to do it. You already know how to do it. You just let me know if you need help. If you need additional support. Then you can focus on that and I can focus on the other things that I need to focus on."

Many leaders either don't train their people how to do that. And then when the people fail, they're like, "Why did you fail? You should have done this. You should have done that." 

"Oh, but you didn't tell me how to do it in the first place." 

So, I think first it's to train your people how to do it. Then, trust them to go and do it. Trust and verify. And once they're at a certain level, then you just give them your intent and they will go and execute it.

As a leader, I will train you on how to do your job very, very well and I'll say, "Go do that."

But you have to leave your crystal palace that many leaders in organizations live in and go down and see what the actual ground truth is for operations.

Some of the best leaders I saw in the military, they left the safety of the headquarters and they would go out and see things that were actually happening on the battlefield. "It's great that you're telling me about it. I need to go see it for myself." 

They would go on missions and maybe be in gunfights and their job is not to be in gun fights, but they need to see the ground truth of really what's going on.

Not for the press, but to actually see it for themselves.

Right, so they can make better decisions.

Tim in Gladstone, Australia, asked:

"When you are feeling flat, have you found anything that can quickly get you motivated again?"

I just put on some hardcore music and get after it.

Any particular bands that are your favorite?

I'd have to find my phone. I know the songs. I can't tell you the artists.

I'd love to see what's on your playlist!

Yeah. Right!? Mine's random. It skips through a bunch of different things, but there'll be some embarrassing ones

Probably hardcore rap — 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Eminem, whatever. And then it just goes on from there.

And final question from Lindsay in Houston, Texas:

“What’s the best way to show support and gratitude to a veteran?”

Just tell them, “Thank you.”

When people tell me that, I'm a little bit embarrassed, but I'm like, "Thank you." I mean, really.

Part of the Navy SEAL mentality is the idea of earning your trident every day. Can you talk a little bit about what that means in practice?

So, that's really about doing the work.

It's funny when I went through SEAL training, we didn't have that slogan yet. It wasn't until we started deploying to combat and guys were coming back and they would perform really well on the battlefield. But then they would get back and there was a lot of other things going on, but they'd get in trouble. Maybe DUIs and things like that, bar fights because they're trying to decompress from things that went on.

And so, a bunch of the leadership got together and they came up with the SEAL Creed and, the slogan of "Earn your trident every day." 

Really what that means is just because you're not at work, you still need to earn that. Whether you're in the SEAL Teams or not in the SEAL Teams, whether you're deployed or not deployed. How you live your life, you should always be earning that thing that you wear on your chest.

There's another saying that we have, "The only easy day was yesterday."

You don't only wear it in when you're in your shiny uniform, you should be wearing it when you're wearing civilian clothes. You should be wearing it, earning it the way that you are in a relationship at home, the way that you act when you're out in town, or you're on liberty or things like that, or when you're in the heat of battle.

Be proud of who you are at the end of the day, because there's another saying that we have that says, "The only easy day was yesterday."

And so, that whole, "Earn your trident every day," when I graduated SEAL training, I maybe didn't have that. I was like, "Oh, I graduated the hardest military training in the world. It's going to be easy from here on out." And I couldn't have been more wrong because when I showed up at the SEAL Teams, I learned very quickly that they don't care about the fact that you graduated SEAL training.

You're at the base level.

Right.

They care about what you're doing today and how you're performing. And that was what we talked about a little bit earlier is that, that accountability piece. I show up and maybe I'm feeling a little off. Even guys that were junior to me that worked for me, they're like, "You need to pick it up today." I'm like, "Yep. You're right. Check."

And I would do exactly the same thing to them. If they were like a little bit down, they weren't performing the way that they should, "What's up? Let's get it on.”

So, we held each other accountable, but we're expected to earn that trident every single day in everything that we do no matter where we are in our life.

How does someone recapture a sense of purpose or mission after a major life change like a transition to civilian life or divorce, career change, that type of thing?

It’s going to take work. It's going to take effort. It's going to take tenacity. And what you think your purpose is today may not be your purpose of tomorrow.

So, as you work on what that purpose is, what that new mission is, what that new, the thing that you want to do in your life is, it could pivot. You may have a plan of what you want to do, an end goal. You may not hit that end goal. You may actually find the on your path to try and get there, and it's not going to happen overnight. It's not instant gratification. You're going to end up pivoting and doing something else that's even more rewarding and more powerful.

It certainly has happened to me. I left the SEAL Teams. I was super depressed. And then I was like, "Oh, I'm going to start a CBD company. Then I'm going to do some other stuff."

What you think your purpose is today may not be your purpose of tomorrow.

I never in my life have I ever wanted to do public speaking, coaching or anything like that. But through this process, I started CBD, I started another consulting company, which was my goal when I got out, but I didn't like doing that, just for various reasons.

But as I've pivoted, now, all I want to do is I want to public speak. I want to get on big stages. I want to coach people in improving their lives, building them up as leaders and changing their mindset and making the world a better place.

That was nothing I ever wanted to do. I was trying to make the world a better place through different means, once upon a time, just as a cog in the wheel. I want to be a major contributing factor to people's lives now.

On your best day, what's an affirmation that you would write on a flashcard to show yourself on your worst day?

Keep going. You got this. You're better than you think you are.

Final question, what’s one thing you do to Win the Day?

I start the night before.

William, great to see you. Thanks so much for coming on my show.

Thank you so much.


Final steps to Win the Day...

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That’s all for this episode! Get out there and win the day.

Until next time…

Onward and upward always,

James Whittaker

PS - If you have a question and want it featured on the Win the Day podcast, email your question (in writing or as an audio message) to: info@jameswhitt.com


Resources / links mentioned:

📷 William Branum Instagram.

🌎 William Branum TikTok.

🥷 Naked Warrior Recovery.

📚 5 SEAL Secrets.

🎬 Subscribe to exclusive Win the Day videos on our YouTube channel.

📈 Free download ‘The 10 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making with Your Podcast (and How to Fix Them!).

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