“It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”

Warren Buffett

Two things make sensational news headlines more quickly and prominently than anything else: first, trouble in financial markets, which impact people’s investments and retirement savings; and second, the prospect of war.

As news outlets splash doomsday headlines as boldly as they can, many buy into the hype, acting as willing participants in spreading fear to anyone who will listen — and the poverty consciousness grows like a weed.

But not everyone buys into the hysteria. Some remain focused on what they want to achieve, ignoring what is out of their control, and in doing so can stumble across opportunities that others only dream of.

During the US Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, interest rates were raised to curb inflation and numerous financial institutions sought deregulation to enable them to innovate—their very survival depended on it. As financial companies struggled, bank stock prices were hammered, including the stock of Wells Fargo, which plummeted almost 50%.

One investor, Warren Buffett—who was then in his fifties, and known for his keen sense of rationality—decided to investigate the intrinsic value of these companies himself, rather than reacting to everyone else’s fear.

At the time, Wells Fargo’s market capitalization was around $2.9 billion. Through his research Buffett concluded that the company would not only survive the crisis and return to its former but might one day even surpass it. Buffett backed his judgment and bought a significant stake in the renowned US bank.

His analysis and instincts were correct. Today, Wells Fargo boasts a market capitalization of more than $270 billion, giving Buffett a return of over 9,000%on his investment.

In a 2004 letter to his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the legendary investor offered an insight into how he feels about how most people think: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

With each downturn, recession or financial crisis, Buffett does not throw up his hands in despair or cower under his desk. Rather, he views it as an opportunity to consolidate his wealth, buying deeply undervalued companies and setting up operational efficiencies and synergies that lead to enormous returns over time.

Those who are well advanced on the path to self-mastery, like Warren Buffett, are NOT extraordinary people. Instead, they consistently and purposefully apply a proven formula of simple actions that lead to extraordinary achievement over time—starting with getting crystal clear on what they want.

While others drift with whatever gust comes their way, winners use their calm, focused minds to identify and take advantage of opportunities to achieve their goals faster.

On 30 August, Buffett turns 88. Happy birthday to one of the greats of our time.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

PS – With USD $30+ billion donated, Warren Buffett is also regarded as the second greatest philanthropist of all time.


Famous quotes by Warren Buffett

The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.”

Steve Maraboli

I’ve just returned to Los Angeles after a three-week book tour of Australia. For those who missed the Today Show interview, you can check it out below. A big thank you to all of you for your continued support.

The winner’s mindset

Today, let’s talk about the winner’s mindset. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, champions in any field are forged in their response to failure.

We all face adversity—every one of us. Those with a fixed mindset use it as an excuse to give up and crawl further into their ever-shrinking shell. Yet, those with a growth mindset use every failure as a stepping stone to greatness.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are where we are because of our decisions to this point. By simply accepting personal responsibility and taking ownership of our lives, we significantly increase our power to change. This can apply to anything, whether it’s underperforming on a university course, being passed over for a promotion at work or failing with a fitness goal.

The fixed mindset comes from stagnation. In contrast, the growth mindset comes from having an end goal in mind and then nurturing our abilities through ongoing care and attention—avid readers of my newsletter might recognize this as “simple and consistent action.”

In her groundbreaking book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, author Carol Dweck showed that from a young age the brain can be trained to grow and improve, like a muscle. Once our limiting beliefs are gradually replaced with the growth mindset, we find it easier to take actions that keep us striving for ever-greater success. This builds bulletproof confidence and creates unparalleled resilience.

Growth mindset in action

In 1964, after campaigning for racial equality, a South African man was given a life sentence and thrown in prison to rot. Rather than giving up, he began studying Afrikaans with the hope of building mutual respect with his captors and converting them to his cause.

Twenty-seven years later, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. After his impassioned pleas for equality caught hearts and minds around the world, he was elected President of South Africa—the first non-white head of state in the country’s history. Reflecting on his extraordinary life, he famously said: “I never lose. I win or I learn.”

In 2010, an unknown fighter taps the canvas. Conceding defeat, his opponent releases the devastating chokehold. With the embarrassing loss, a mere 38 seconds into the first round, the aspiring fighter’s record now stood at a paltry four wins and two losses. Rather than let another setback define him, he continued to hone his skills. An eight-fight win streak caught the eye of Dana White and the Irishman was signed to the UFC.

Five years after the humiliating loss, he defeated José Aldo, one of the greatest fighters of all time, in 13 seconds—the fastest finish in UFC title fight history. The following year, his coach John Kavanagh released a book documenting the extraordinary journey with his star pupil entitled “Win or Learn”, echoing Mandela’s fortitude. Today, Conor McGregor is one of the highest paid athletes on the planet.

Oprah Winfrey was deemed “unfit for television.” Steve Jobs was removed from the company he founded. J.K. Rowling was fired from her job as a secretary. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. The list goes on.

How do we create a growth mindset?

True champions have a growth mindset and never accept temporary failure as permanent defeat. Instead, they prepare a vivid, detailed plan for success and get to work on winning the day. To create a growth mindset:

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

PS – Here is a free download of the bonus chapter from Think & Grow Rich: The Legacy, showing how simple mindset shifts catapulted ordinary people to extraordinary achievement.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Bernard Baruch

The foundation of ALL great achievement is a clear definition of success. If you have not already done so, download and complete the Success Plan Template. This will provide a comprehensive outline of what’s most important to you and what steps you need to take each day to inch you closer to your perfect destination.

Following on from the last newsletter How to Harness True Power, let’s talk about how to get people excited in you. Contrary to what pessimistic people say—and what sensationalist media outlets print—most of the world is brimming with kind, generous and loving people who want to help you achieve success.

There’s just one problem: they don’t know how. Here are three ways to get people excited in you.

1. Broadcast where you’re going.

An important part of completing the Success Plan is having the most important people in your life complete it, too. Not only does it create a bond for you to grow together, it provides clarity on the support you need individually. Equally applicable to both individuals and business, important components of this are: purpose, mission and values.

You will be amazed at how much help you will receive from people organically when you are:

Remember to update your social media profiles, website, marketing collateral (if applicable), and willingly offer it when prompted during conversations—just remember to ask others where they’re going and how you can help them, too.

2. Tell people how they can help you.

I recently spoke with accomplished speaker and entrepreneur Adam Carroll best known for his TEDx Talk “When Money Isn’t Real”. Earlier in his career, speaking at a TEDx event was such an important goal for Carroll that he included a reference to it in his email signature.

Sure enough, with hundreds of emails going out each week, someone eventually saw it who was able to help: Carroll was granted a speaker spot at a University of Milwaukee TEDx event. Positive feedback from that presentation led to him being invited to speak at another TEDx event, this time at the London Business School.

With an entirely new presentation, Carroll delivered an inspirational talk that has since amassed more than 2 million views. All because he included his goal in a simple email signature. If people don’t know how they can help you, they can’t and won’t.

If you frequently and unconditionally add value to others, people will jump at the opportunity to return the favor—on the condition that the instructions on what you need are clear.

3. Be upfront with your vulnerabilities.

You cannot have authenticity without vulnerability. Due to the limited programming drilled in to us since we were young, many of us have developed a fear of criticism. This manifests in a constant loop that we don’t have a story worth telling.

The truth? We ALL have an incredible story to tell … every single one of us.

If you’re not resonating with your audience, it might be time to turn your attention to the packaging. Excitedly craft your purpose and your vulnerabilities into an easily engaging story, looping in your mastermind group as needed for the best final outcome.

The best entrepreneurs, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk, are not only happier living their authentic self, they’re experts at packaging their purpose and their vulnerabilities. This creates a far greater connection between them and their audience, and enables them to quickly connect with others.

When properly packaged, your audience engages with you from a foundation of authenticity that establishes belief, trust and, importantly, action.

Think about how you can apply these three steps in your own life. When done correctly, you’ll have an army of people willing to open their rolodex and introduce you to resources that will get you where you want to go, irrespective of the goal.

As Oscar Wilde said: “Be YOU. Everyone else is already taken.”

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”

Anaïs Nin

Good news! Think & Grow Rich: The Legacy is now available in audiobook. Sorry to disappoint those who wanted an Aussie accent, but accomplished narrator Rich Germaine did the honors this time around.

Today, we talk about the most valuable weapon in your arsenal—the power of the mastermind.

Great success never comes solely on the back of one’s own efforts. Think about some of the most iconic business leaders on the planet:

Bezos, Musk and Blakely are undoubtedly brilliant in their respective fields and were quite literally hands-on when their companies launched, but their most valuable—and by far the most underrated— attribute is their ability to build a team of inspired individuals who align with their values, believe in their mission, and commit to making their shared dreams a reality. Their own contributions were just the tip of the iceberg.

When efforts toward a common purpose are aligned, the results are amplified exponentially. Napoleon Hill believed this principle to be so valuable that he dedicated an entire chapter to it in Think and Grow Rich, the bestselling self-help book of all time.

What Makes a Good Mastermind?

For those new to the mastermind world, the below criteria will help you get the ball rolling. Look for people who:

It’s human nature to want to recruit your best friends, but diversity is the spice of life—especially when it comes to mastermind groups (or any effective management team). Only bring in those who fulfill all the above characteristics.

Start off with 4-6 people so enough time can be allocated to each person. Elect a chairperson to lead each meeting, share responsibilities, and set action items. Learn from experience and calibrate as much as you need (e.g. agenda, participants, frequency or venue) so you can continuously increase your effectiveness.

Over time, you’ll feel comfortable branching out your mastermind abilities to achieve superior performance in all areas of your life. The below scenario, “Mastermind in Practice”, is an example of how it might be used when brainstorming new business ideas.

Mastermind in Practice

The mastermind principle can be used for superior success regardless of where you’re at in life. To help illustrate the process, let’s look at one scenario in detail. Enter “Josh” and “Gabrielle” who both want to brainstorm ideas for a new business.

Scenario #1

With a sip of coffee, Josh excitedly strolls to his desk and turns on his laptop. The aspiring entrepreneur has big dreams and a good work ethic, two qualities he hopes will help him realize his goal of being his own boss.

Josh spends most of his time sitting at home mapping out ideas, researching industries that excite him, and jotting down any “a-ha” moments. Residing almost completely in his comfort zone, Josh doesn’t realize the importance of exposure, accountability andassistance.

Eventually, the 26-year-old comes up with what he fervently believes is a comprehensive strategy. Drawing mostly on instincts, he brings his product to market alone.

Scenario #2

On the other side of town, Gabrielle smiles. She’s just finished writing down a list of eight people in her network who, despite being from different backgrounds, are already working on ideas they’re passionate about. Although it seemed like a call out of the blue, Gabrielle contacts them and suggests they all catch up to tap into their combined expertise. Of the eight she contacted, five are able to attend.

Before they catch up, Gabrielle has each person complete the Success Plan Template. In the first meeting, they enthusiastically discuss their values and what’s most important to them. With each participant crystal clear on everyone’s unique definition of success, the group now has total clarity on how they can help each person individually. Connected by their ambition, integrity and passion, the group bond quickly. They willingly help Gabrielle brainstorm her ideas, elevate her belief in what’s possible, and add in missing pieces she never could have considered. The group also introduce her to others in their respective networks who can help her succeed.

With a comprehensive plan that has been acid-tested by dozens of people, Gabrielle brings her product to market. Using her tremendous faith in the mastermind principle, she then builds out a team who believe in the mission and are excited to change lives with the new product.

If Josh and Gabrielle had a product launch in the same industry, who do you think would be the most successful over the long-term?


Using our analogy from earlier, the tip of the iceberg is what we can do alone. Instead, peek underwater at the rest of the iceberg and harness true power.

It is impossible to succeed alone; in fact, going it alone might be your death knell. To paraphrase from Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy:

“In the free market, those who ignore the mastermind principle will inevitably find themselves tied to the tracks as a thundering locomotive approaches. Instead, use the power of the mastermind to build your own locomotive.”

Those who harness the true power of the mastermind—defined as “organized and intelligently directed knowledge”—change the world. Create your own definition of success, find your tribe, and feel the thrill of victory.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

PS – Here’s a step by step guide to turbocharging your personal brand.

“Run the day or the day runs you.”

Jim Rohn

At every speech, I put up a slide that reads:

“Make the decision to win or you’ve automatically made the decision to lose.”

In the modern world of comfort and instant gratification, we naturally gravitate towards relaxation, indulgence and excitement. Along the way, more important but less fun tasks—like reading a book, completing a goals template, studying for an educational program, creating a household budget, going to the gym, or doing meal prep for the week—are often put on the backburner.

From 100+ firsthand interviews with some of the most successful people on the planet, I’ve learned that it all comes down to a simple mission: Win the day. When you have a comprehensive Success Plan, you live with intent and know what daily actions will inch you closer to your perfect destination.

Here are seven tips to help you win the day.

1. Start with gratitude.

Take a quiet moment each day to give thanks for the countless gifts already in your possession, such as love, health, peace, shelter, food or the opportunity to make the world a better place. Train yourself to find the gift in every situation so you can see the problem for what it is and properly respond rather than impulsively react and potentially make it worse.

2. Get clear on who you are and what you want.

Being clear on your perfect destination makes it much easier to take daily actions, attract people who can amplify your efforts and persist through the tough days. Each morning, as soon as you wake up, write down three things that would make today a ‘win'. Before you go to bed, review the success of your day and the actions you took (or did not take), and calibrate accordingly.

3. Do your life’s work first.

Try doing your life’s work—the actions that will inch you closer to your goals—before working on someone else’s agenda for your time. The two biggest examples of someone else’s agenda are social media and emails. There is a time and a place for both, but make sure you are not wasting your best hours on someone else’s plan for your life. Instead, allocate your most creative and productive time for actions that align with your goals, and do the rest on autopilot.

4. Fuel the body and mind.

Give your body the physical and mental nourishment it needs to function at an optimal state, encourage creative thought and feel more energetic. Many of the most high-profile CEOs and world leaders deliberately schedule time in their busy calendars for daily exercise, meditation and reading (or podcasts / audiobooks).

5. Add value to someone’s life each day.

Whether it is buying a meal for a homeless person, volunteering your time to help disadvantaged youth or teaching military veterans how to surf, there are countless ways to give back. In the pursuit of helping others, make sure you also take care of those under your own roof. Having an open channel of communication with your loved ones and actively planning times to be together without distraction is an important part of ensuring the family unit grows as one.

6. Reflect and recalibrate.

On the journey to success, failure is inevitable. Rather than striving for perfection, aim for progress. If at the end of the day you are disappointed with the result, compare your goals with the actions you took—maybe there was a toxic friend who occupied too much of your time, notifications on your phone that kept distracting you, or bad food choices because you had not prioritized a supermarket visit or meal prep. Calibrate accordingly. Over time, simple and consistent action turns to extraordinary achievement.

7. End the day with a request to your subconscious.

Famous inventor Thomas Edison once said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” The best way to bring a wish to life is with a good night’s rest and a plan to win tomorrow.


Fun is an essential part of enjoying life, but develop the habit of paying the price each day or you’ll have to pay a much greater price down the track in the form of:

As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Each day, make the decision to win or you’ve automatically made the decision to lose.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

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