Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

– James Whittaker

Welcome to Win the Day and today is a special one – this is Episode 50!

Before we dive into all the good stuff for today, I just want to say an enormous THANK YOU for listening to this podcast, watching it on YouTube, and sharing it with friends. Your support means the world to me, and we’ve got some seriously kickass episodes coming up! So if you haven’t already, hit subscribe on YouTube or follow on Spotify. Together, let’s bring more and more positive energy into the world.

Because this show is about growth. It’s about recognizing that, while we might’ve faced adversity, challenges – even serious trauma – in our past, all that matters is what we decide to do from here. That’s why to truly win the day, we must begin every morning with an acknowledgement that the day – THIS day – is there to be won.

When I’m bringing these guests on the show – who are some of the most accomplished individuals on the planet – I’m trying to hone in on what they’ve done different:

With that information, I can learn, you can learn, and together we can inspire others through our example. That’s growth. Every day, we get better and better, so we can make the world – and everyone in it – a better place.

But this show is nothing without ACTION, so make sure with every episode you think about what 2-3 things you’re going to do as a result of what you’ve learned to level-up in your relationships, in your health, in your business, so the world knows how serious you are about what it is you want. Because, as Napoleon Hill said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

Today, in honor of our 50th episode, I’m going to share with you my 12 favorite takeaways from the guests’ we’ve had on the show. These are the value bombs that have stood out to me the most, and I know will be enormously impactful for you too.

And because of this milestone, I’ve got a special giveaway just for you. Make sure you check out the podcast or YouTube version of this episode for more info on that.

The quote for this episode is one I put up at every speech:

“Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

If you can figure that quote out, and turn that into a habit, the rest is easy. 

In fact, I started saying “Win the day” because I wanted something more succinct from that sentence that I could use for my podcast. And the rest is history! Here we are 50 episodes in, and you and I are still making the decision to win because the alternative, which is slowly losing every day, eroding our progress, and sabotaging our dreams, is not something we can tolerate. We’ve got ONE life to live and we’re going to unlock every little particle of potential inside us so our time on the earth is well spent.

So are you ready to win with me? I hope so! And if there’s a friend or loved one who wants to join us, share this episode with them right now.

In honor of our 50th episode, here are the 12 best tips to win the day, every day. Welcome to the Win the Day All-Star Edition. 

We'll go through:

NOTE: This episode contains exclusive clips from special guests who have come on the show. For the best experience, we recommend checking out either the podcast or YouTube version of this episode.

🎞️ For the video interview, click here.


Resources / links mentioned:

Success Plan.

🎥 YouTube version of this episode.

Episodes mentioned:

Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

Win the Day with John Assaraf (Ep 33).

Win the Day with Rob Angel (Ep 48).

Win the Day with Keith Ferrazzi (Ep 30).

Win the Day with Kerwin Rae (Ep 31).

Win the Day with Emily Fletcher (Ep 29).

Win the Day with Coss Marte (Ep 32).

Win the Day with Dr Sonja Stribling (Ep 37).

Win the Day with Brandon T. Adams (Ep 35).

Win the Day with Adam Carroll (Ep 38).

Win the Day with Michael Fox (Ep 26).

Win the Day with Marcus Smith (Ep 42).

Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

James Whittaker

Welcome to Win the Day and today is a special one – this is Episode 50!

Before we dive into all the good stuff for today, I just want to say an enormous THANK YOU for listening to this podcast, watching it on YouTube, and sharing it with friends. Your support means the world to me, and we’ve got some seriously kickass episodes coming up! So if you haven’t already, hit subscribe on YouTube or follow on Spotify. Together, let’s bring more and more positive energy into the world.

Because this show is about growth. It’s about recognizing that, while we might’ve faced adversity, challenges – even serious trauma – in our past, all that matters is what we decide to do from here. That’s why to truly win the day, we must begin every morning with an acknowledgement that the day – THIS day – is there to be won.

When I’m bringing these guests on the show – who are some of the most accomplished individuals on the planet – I’m trying to hone in on what they’ve done different:

With that information, I can learn, you can learn, and together we can inspire others through our example. That’s growth. Every day, we get better and better, so we can make the world – and everyone in it – a better place.

But this show is nothing without ACTION, so make sure with every episode you think about what 2-3 things you’re going to do as a result of what you’ve learned. As Napoleon Hill said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

Today, in honor of our 50th episode, I’m going to share with you my 12 most memorable takeaways from the guests’ we’ve had on the show. These are the value bombs that have stood out to me the most, and I know will be enormously impactful for you too.

And because of this milestone, we've got a special giveaway! Make sure you check out the podcast or YouTube version of this episode for more info on that.

The quote for this episode is one I put up at every speech:

“Each day, if you do not make the decision to win, you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

If you can figure that quote out, and turn that into a habit, the rest is easy.

In fact, I started saying “Win the day” because I wanted something more succinct from that sentence that I could use for my podcast. And the rest is history! Here we are, 50 episodes in, and you and I are still making the decision to win because the alternative, which is slowly losing every day, eroding our progress, and sabotaging our dreams, is not something we can tolerate. We’ve got ONE life to live and we’re going to unlock every little particle of potential inside us so our time on the earth is well spent.

So are you ready to win? I hope so! And if there’s a friend or loved one who wants to join us, share this episode with them right now.

In honor of our 50th episode, here are the 12 best tips to win the day, every day. Welcome to the Win the Day All-Star Edition. 

NOTE: This episode contains exclusive clips from special guests who have come on the show. For the best experience, we recommend checking out either the podcast or YouTube version of this episode.

1. The best way to show you’re grateful for something is to take care of it.

I’ve noticed that the word “gratitude” has become hijacked lately, a little bit like the “self-love” movement. People talk a big gratitude game and post their fancy snaps on Instagram, but what Gabby Reece shared during Episode 43 of the show is that the best way to show you’re grateful for something is to actually take care of it.

That means, behind closed doors, when the phone’s away, you’re looking after the things you’re grateful for – whether that’s your physical health, your mental health, or the most important people in your life.

Here’s what Gabby shared:

“I don't need to lose my health to covet it.

The other thing I'm doing is I'm practicing. When people talk about gratitude, the best way I can show that, "Hey, I'm really grateful for my health," is to take care of it. That's ultimately what I'm doing.

The other side of that is it's a level of sanity. I am a better functioning organism if I can also take care of the physical avatar to the best of my ability. It's a law of the universe. It's the truth, and so I don't need to keep relearning that lesson. I know what the lesson is, and I'm just ahead with it.”

So if, like me, you’ve been bitten by the gratitude bug, that’s awesome! Just make sure you’re doing the reps behind the scenes. Those daily reps add up to massive results over time.

2. Actively pursue calm so you can thrive in chaos.

If there’s one thing the covid pandemic has emphasized in bold, italic, and underline, it’s that the world is shifting faster than ever before – but, most importantly, it’s going to keep getting faster and faster, as George Chanos reminded us in Episode 27.

When the covid pandemic started, there was an entrepreneur in Australia who saw it coming months ahead of time, and that was Kerwin Rae.

In Episode 31 Kerwin came on the show to reveal those insights with us, but what I found most impactful was his emphasis on pursuing calm at all costs. As the world is getting faster, more chaotic, more transactional, more automated, and more digital, we’re faced with sensory stimulation like we’ve never even imagined – and that’s an absolute recipe for disaster where our mental health is concerned.

Yet, Kerwin reminds us that we need to shift away from passive sensory overload, and instead shift to more proactively putting ourselves in situations that get us out of our comfort zone in a good way. And if we can do that regularly, and train ourselves to be effective and calm in complete chaos, we will not only be extremely well positioned to benefit from the rapidly changing world but we'll also insulate ourselves from failure that could be completely demobilizing for most people.

Here’s what Kerwin said:

“The more you can regulate stress in a healthy way, at levels that other people can't, the more you’ll enable yourself to go further than anyone else can.

That’s the beautiful thing about being human. We all have this capability to grow. We all have this capability to change and transform.

The only difference between someone who plays here and someone who plays here is their ability to expose themselves to information, in some cases, stress, at a level that they can regulate in a healthy way. That's why not everyone's going to be able to build a multi-billion-dollar company because not everyone could cope with the mental stress of even considering working with those denominations and those values.

And that's why you'll always find where your limit is, and wherever that limit is you'll be constrained by some level of fear that triggers a level of stress.”

3. Tie your financial goals to your definite major purpose.

Most people recognize the importance of proper goal-setting in achieving what they want. (And to start practicing what I believe is the most effective goal-setting system available, download my Success Plan. Free instant download; no opt-in required). But when it comes to your financial goals, the secret sauce is how you tie them into your definite major purpose.

Your definite major purpose is the core goal you have that most of your other sub-goals stem from.

Anyone can put “$1 million” on a goal sheet, but tying it into your definite major purpose, backing it by emotion, and then outlining the steps you need to take to get there and how that will impact the world is going to make it 100x more likely for you to achieve that goal.

In Episode 38, personal finance expert Adam Carroll shared this with us:

“My parents were very positive-minded and they talked about opportunity a lot. My dad was big into Deepak Chopra back in the day. And he would tell me growing up that I was a wizard, and I didn't really understand what he was telling me at the time. I had visions of Harry Potter-esque kind of wizards.

But what he was telling me, I believe, is that I could create whatever environment I wanted to create; that I had the ability to manifest my own desires. And so when I read Think and Grow Rich the first time – which you are obviously well-versed in – I realized how important the messages of definiteness of purpose, and of focus and attention, were. I have a saying up on my door up here and it says “The definiteness of purpose for acquiring wealth is necessary for its acquisition.”

And I kept reading that over and over and over again. Think and Grow Rich was one of the first books that got me on the path. Then I went down this unbelievable rabbit hole of finding all of the quantum physics and law of attraction books that were out there. I realized that we are all constantly, consciously or unconsciously, creating our own environment.”

So powerful.

Remember, Adam is the guy whose TED Talk on playing Monopoly with real money has 6+ million views. So if you’ve got big financial goals – and you should because the more resources you have at your disposal the more you can contribute to the causes you care about the most – you need to tie it into a higher purpose or mission that you have for your life.

4. Your past isn’t your future.

If we’ve been brought up in an environment that doesn’t reward creativity, growth or love, we might feel that we’re doomed to continue that cycle. Or worse, we might never recognize that a problem even exists because it seems “normal” to us.

But in Episode 37, Dr Sonja Stribling – who’s one of the toughest and most resilient people I’ve ever met – stated:

“When you hear me say that 'If you didn't come from a wealthy family, let a wealthy family come from you,' it empowers you to realize that just because you came from nothing doesn't mean your family has to carry on that tradition. It means you get to create whatever lifestyle you want. That's just been my mantra. I don't want my children to suffer the way I did or the way my mother did.

And it's not just about the money. Being rich is more about teaching different ways that your children don't have to always go get a 9:00am to 5:00pm job and always have to go to school because school is not for everyone. There are other means to create wealth. You just need to know where to find those ideas and the strategies and the tips and tools to do so.”

While, at times, you might feel that your future is pre-destined because of the circumstances where you grew up, it’s never too late to be what you want to be, lead by example, and inspire future generations to take ownership of their lives. And while the goal of flipping the script of generational poverty in your family and turning it to generational wealth might be great financially, never forget that it’s the lessons, the relationships, and the attitude to handling adversity that are the most important things.

5. There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre.

This might seem harsh, but I’ve interviewed enough people now who have overcome the most horrific circumstances imaginable and gone on to incredible success. To see firsthand what they’ve been able to do with their lives but, more importantly, how grateful they are for that adversity, has been the biggest blessing I've had on this journey. In some of their deepest pain, they were able to use those experiences as fuel to live a life of compassion, meaning, and impact.

Some of those people are Janine Shepherd, who I mentioned in chapter one of Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy. Her story as a walking paraplegic is extraordinary. Remember, she had qualified for the Olympic Games, only to have her athletic dreams and physical being completely destroyed through no fault of her own.

There’s Jim Stovall who, at 18, went totally and permanently blind, before going on to write 30 bestselling books and become the founder of the Narrative Television Network – while blind. Todd Love, who became a triple amputee at 18 years old after being blown up by an IED in Afghanistan; Todd views the explosion as a “gift” and has since completed the Spartan Race on numerous occasions to inspire others.

Or Sonja Stribling, who we just mentioned in the last tip, who was born into a family as the youngest of 12 children, to parents who only had a second-grade education. At age 15, she gave birth to her first child. And just two years later, at 17 years old, she was raped and left for dead in a field. Sonja is now an internationally regarded female empowerment coach who helps millions of people around the world.

There are too many examples of this.

Make no mistake, how you respond to adversity when it INEVITABLY strikes is what separates ordinary people from extraordinary achievers.

And in Episode 30, #1 NY Times bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi shared a very succinct approach for those who want to become extraordinary:

“There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre. If you want to be extraordinary, you chart your path. If you hold onto your individual title, you'll never have enough resources under your control to really break through. You need to go to Peter Diamandis, you need to go to Jim Kwik, you need to get James Whittaker who knows everything about podcasts to teach you about podcasts, right?

You need to expand your view of team. If you don't redefine your view of team, you will remain mediocre with mediocre resources.”

So think about what you can do to turn your individual mission into a shared mission.

There is no excuse for you to remain mediocre. If you want to be extraordinary, you chart your path and build the team to get you there. That’s it. It’s so empowering.

Rather than dwell on our misfortune, or people who’ve wronged us, or whatever it might be, we instead need to channel that energy into constructive means so we can create the very circumstances we want.

That all starts with a recognition that a better life awaits (irrespective of what has happened to us in the past), followed by a focus on detailed plans to make it happen, then a commitment to seeing it through with the right people around us.

6. Regardless of what happened yesterday, wake up ready to win today.

Like most of these tips, the real growth comes when you can turn them into a habit – that way, when the voice of doubt kicks in, it’s quickly overridden by habit and you do what needs to be done.

One of the best habits to have is waking up and recognizing today as a clean slate, which means you leave any drama, frustration, or stress in the past where it belongs. And you wake up excited for another opportunity to do exactly what you want to do.

In Episode 42, ultra athlete Marcus Smith, who was almost killed after being hit by a vehicle while cycling, shared this:

“We ALL have tough days. We ALL get overwhelmed and we have to be honest with ourselves on that. But I think what the difference is from what you said and from what I see in my life is that no matter how bad today is I'll wake up tomorrow and it's a new day, and I'm ready to dominate and you're ready to win the day.

If I can just encourage people that every time you go to bed, when you get up the next day, you've been just gifted this unique opportunity to do amazing things. You've got a fresh mind. And if you start the day with this great positive mindset that you're going to have an awesome life, you can just rinse and repeat that. It's beautiful.”

And there’s a level of peace that you can see in these people. They’re at peace with themselves and what has happened to them, and they’re even at peace with the people who were responsible for their most brutal pain.

But more than peace, they also know exactly who they are, what they’re capable of, and how they will inch closer toward their mission.

7. Always take time for yourself.

There’s been many moments in my life – too many to name – where I’ve reached a pretty dark place and felt overwhelmed and frustrated, and the negative self-talk got noisier and noisier.

Inevitably, in every one of those instances, it was because I either did not know about the daily rituals for success, or I had become so overwhelmed with work that I neglected those daily rituals of success.

If we fall out of alignment, that’s when those dark feelings emerge, and it’s a horrible feeling to find yourself in a situation where you’re saying, “How did I get here AGAIN?”

It can be a difficult road to come back from.

In Episode 48, Rob Angel – who was the creator of the world’s bestselling board game, Pictionary – mentioned how he had to take a leave of absence from his own business because he was totally out of alignment:

“As entrepreneurs, they say you've got to push hard and make sure you're working 24/7, and you've got to push, push, push. Well, that's what I wound up doing. And about 5-6 years in, I changed my mission from giving Pictionary to the world and people having fun, to how do I make more money and push this game.

It wasn't just burnout. It was complete and total anxiety. I wasn't comfortable with myself. My authentic self had left and I was so off balance. I was so out of alignment. But I didn't know how to deal with it. So for a couple of years, I was getting in fights with my partners over nothing.

And I wouldn't show up for work periodically and it just became untenable. So I took a leave of absence. That's all I could do. I had to remove myself and recalibrate and took about six months. I came back to the business and the partners accepted me and took up the slack. But you don't have to do that. You can pre-warn.

Make sure you take an hour for yourself every day. Whether it's meditation, watching television, working out, or whatever it might be, where you don't think about your business. Because guess what? If you're not there for 20 minutes, it's going to be there when you get back. It's not like it'll fail if you take time for yourself.

I do believe in meditation. But if that just sounds so woo-hoo and off the wall, take a walk, anything, but you've got to take care of yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically to be more productive and make more money and be more successful. You have to.”

So make sure you stay in alignment. And the best way to do to that is: to always have an idea of what success looks like to you in ALL areas; and, second, make sure your own cup is full at all times, because the more you have the more you have to give.

8. Give yourself time to heal and re-align.

A surprising theme I noted from most of the people who’ve come on the show is that a deliberate break has been the springboard to their greatest achievement. In Episode 26, Australian entrepreneur Michael Fox (founder of Fable Food Co) shared how he raised more than US $30 million for an exciting business venture that was backed by some of the most established retailers and venture capital firms in the world.

But after losing everything – his business, the $30 million in investor money, 10 years of his life, and even his marriage – Michael took six months off in Europe where he allowed his intellectual curiosity to go where it wanted to go.

In that moment of massive internal transition, which didn’t have any boundaries or time constraints around it (like he’d had with the rigorous demands of running his own business), Michael became drawn to one particular topic, which became the foundation of his new mission: to end industrial agriculture.

Michael went all-in on that mission, and in a few short years has created a high-end meat alternative that uses mushrooms, which is now available in more than 1,000 supermarkets and has partnered with people like acclaimed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Here’s what Michael had to say:

“My wife and I, with our one-and-a-half-year-old, went to Denmark. For me, it was a great period to have a reset – I didn't have any pressure to find a job or figure out what I was going to do next. I just knew, okay, there's six months, I can focus on being a dad and do whatever I feel like doing.

I ended up reading a lot of books. And because I've been vegetarian for four and a half years, I just ended up reading more about industrial animal agriculture. There were other areas that I was really passionate about and started exploring too, like community living and some different areas like that. But I just ended up reading all these different areas that I was passionate about.

Then towards the end of the six months, I started thinking, “Well, there's two or three areas I'm deeply passionate about, is there a business model or something that I could do?” Well, actually, I didn't even want to start a new business. I was thinking that maybe I could work for someone else in in the meat alternative space because it’s a space that's been growing really quickly.

That six months allowed me to explore whatever I wanted to, wherever my intellectual curiosity took me. That really helped me narrow in on what my passion was and what industry I might like to enter. We added lifestyle decisions around that, and got to work."

So if you’ve gone through a very difficult period, make sure you take a defined period of time – without any boundaries, constraints, or pressure – to allow your intellectual curiosity to go wherever it wants to go. You’ll likely find answers to what you want with much more clarity than you’ve experienced ever before, which could be the perfect springboard to your next chapter.

9. The most important opinion is how you feel about yourself.

All those who do great things have one fundamental attribute: unwavering self-belief. In a world, where haters come with the territory, and everything we see comes with a like, share, and comment button, it’s more important than ever to recognize that there’s only ONE opinion that really matters and it’s how you feel about yourself.

In Episode 32, a truly unique guy, Coss Marte, came on the show to share his story. Coss was brought up in very difficult circumstances, before finding massive success on the wrong side of the law. As one of New York’s most prominent drug dealers, Coss was earning more than $5 million a year at 21 years old and needed eight mobile phones just to store the sheer number of customer contacts. Eventually, he was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence, but was able to use his time inside to start a new career as a fitness entrepreneur.

There was one quote that stood out to me during our conversation: “My mentality was nothing is going to stop me.” Even in a prison cell, Coss was going to turn his dream into a reality, and I would never bet against someone with that level of faith in themselves.

Here’s how Coss describes what happened next:

“I started realizing that I was affecting not only the thousands of people that I sold drugs to, but I started thinking about their families. I started thinking about my family. I started thinking about this web of destruction that I'd created, and I felt so much regret. I said, “I want to give back in some sort of way.”

I came up with the idea of ConBody in that cell. Then, I lost 70 pounds in six months, while helping 20 other inmates lose more than 1,000 pounds combined. So, I started this whole workout program in the prison yard. I knew then that it’s what I wanted to do when I came home: a prison-style bootcamp. In my cell, I wrote a mini-business plan and a 90-day workout plan.

I said to myself that I would do what I wrote, and I did.

About a year later, I came home and put it into action. I started training classes in the park, then rented out studios, then eventually opened up my own studio. It escalated to building an online workout platform where I now train thousands of people all over the world. Today, we've trained more than 50,000 people. But the most beautiful thing is that we've hired over 40 people coming out of the prison system, and none of them have come back into the system.”

So next time you’re faced with an opinion about what you’re not capable of, whether it’s from a family member, a friend, or a total stranger, remember that those comments are based on THEIR limitations. The most important opinion is how you feel about yourself, so take action on your dreams and what you know you're capable of.

10. Create imagined memories to manifest your ideal outcomes.

That might sound a little woo-woo, but what Emily Fletcher shared in Episode 29 blew me away. Emily is the world’s leader in meditation for high performance, and one of the most valuable takeaways I got from her episode was that the mind doesn’t know the difference between imagined memories we create for the future and actual memories from our past.

So if we’re serious about creating a life we love, a powerful method is to consciously remind ourselves of the outcomes we want and have the discipline to do it every day. We literally visualize an important moment – whether it’s a client meeting, a keynote presentation, a guest appearance on a podcast – and play out the entire event in our most optimal state.

That way, when it happens in real time, we’ve already trained our subconscious to deliver at the highest possible level and made sure we’re perfectly prepared for that opportunity.

Emily uses a combination of meditation and manifestation to reduce the impact of previous trauma while empowering us to get the absolute best result from important events we have coming up in the future:

“Mindfulness is really good at dealing with your stress in the now. And then the manifesting piece is all about dealing with your dreams for the future. So it sounds a little hippy-dippy. It sounds a little woo-woo. Maybe not to you or your audience!

But I would define manifesting as consciously creating a life you love. It is reminding yourself of your dreams. And what I've found is that the combination – and this might really be the thing that keeps you committed to meditation – the combination of meditation and manifesting is so much more powerful than either one alone. Because you could meditate all day, but if you're not clear about what it is that you want it's very hard for nature to give you the thing.

And conversely, you could manifest all day, lining your walls with vision boards, but if you're not meditating and your nervous system is riddled with stress and trauma, and limiting beliefs that you can't even see, then again it's going to be a lot harder for you to achieve your dreams. But when you do them together, you get rid of the stress in your body, you peel away these subconscious limiting beliefs, and you remind yourself of your dreams every day, twice a day, and things start to show up a lot more quickly.”

It’s one hell of a bio-hack, yet so few people do it. If now is the time to massively level-up with what you’re doing, create imagined memories for future events to manifest your ideal outcomes.

11. Help the people who want the help, not the people who need the help.

This has been a lesson I learned the hard way. Naively, I thought I could help everyone, and you might have felt – or still feel – the same way. But if we try to lift people up who don’t even want to be lifted, not only are we NOT going to be able to lift them up but they’ll likely end up pulling us down to their level.

But in Episode 33, mindset expert John Assaraf mentioned:

“On many occasions I’ve worked harder at helping somebody achieve their goal than they have. But that brings me back to a couple of things that I've discovered over the years. First and foremost, help the people who want the help, not the people who need the help.

Number two, don't be in the convincing business, because if you've got to convince somebody, then they're not sold on themselves doing it.

Number three, every person I work with I ask the question, “Are you interested or are you committed?” And if they tell me they're committed, and they're willing to do whatever it takes, and be radically honest with themselves, and radically honest with what they do, or don't do, then I'm willing to help you.

But anybody else, I have no interest in helping. I don't want to spend my time trying to talk somebody into what they should be doing.”

Powerful, right!? And I’ll never forget it. John shared a TON of gold in that episode.

12. Action is everything.

There’s a quote we mentioned at the start of this episode from Napoleon Hill: “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” Hill also mentioned “It doesn’t matter what you know; it matters what you DO with what you know.”

And when Brandon T. Adams came on the show in Episode 35, he said this:

“Action is what gets results. The number one thing holding people back is they think about something and they strategize all day. At the end of the day, an idea is shit unless you actually take action towards it, and that's what I learned in Think and Grow Rich. You've got to take daily action, even if it's one thing you do every day, every single day, just one thing you accomplish. It'll build up, it's the compound effect. It'll slowly build up over time, and eventually, get you your bigger opportunity.

If you take action, get outside your comfort zone, and become comfortable being uncomfortable, you will find opportunity. And then follow up on the opportunity; don't just get it and then let it go. You have to follow up and keep taking action, every single day.”

And that’s success in a nutshell. Eventually, you have to get your hands dirty. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to take action. So a question I want you to ask yourself right now is:

Who do I need to become to succeed in this rapidly changing world?

There might be skills you need to get, relationships you have to establish, limiting beliefs you need to overcome. The world is changing faster than ever, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re clear on who you need to become so you can figure out what action you need to take.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed those 12 tips to win the day every day! If you wanted to dive into those in more detail, you can check out the full episodes, available in video on YouTube and in audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

What was your favorite tip? Let me know in either the comments on the YouTube video or in a review on Apple Podcasts. We’ll then pick out THREE lucky people to receive a signed copy of Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy delivered to wherever you are in the world for free.

Is there someone in your life who needs some help winning the day? Share this episode with them now. They’ll thank you for it later, I promise.

To finish, I want to leave you with the quote for today’s episode:

“Each day if you do not make the decision to win you have automatically made the decision to lose.”

Imprint that on your mind so nothing can knock you off course ever again.

That’s all, folks! Remember, to get out there and win the day. And think about how strong you'll be when we hit 100 episodes 😉

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

Resources / links mentioned:

Success Plan.

🎥 YouTube version of this episode.

Episodes mentioned:

Win the Day with Gabby Reece (Ep 43).

Win the Day with John Assaraf (Ep 33).

Win the Day with Rob Angel (Ep 48).

Win the Day with Keith Ferrazzi (Ep 30).

Win the Day with Kerwin Rae (Ep 31).

Win the Day with Emily Fletcher (Ep 29).

Win the Day with Coss Marte (Ep 32).

Win the Day with Dr Sonja Stribling (Ep 37).

Win the Day with Brandon T. Adams (Ep 35).

Win the Day with Adam Carroll (Ep 38).

Win the Day with Michael Fox (Ep 26).

Win the Day with Marcus Smith (Ep 42).

"Do or do not. There is no try."

– Yoda

Today we sit down with one of the world’s foremost business growth experts, Kerwin Rae. Kerwin has amassed millions of followers with his raw, no-nonsense motivational style. In an extraordinary career, he’s helped more than 100,000 businesses in 150+ different industries, in more than a dozen countries, to achieve better results. He is also host of the Unstoppable with Kerwin Rae podcast.

But Kerwin certainly had to attend the school of hard knocks to get where he is today. At 7 years old, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning difficulties. At 15, he had the first of seven near-death experiences. And at 19, he became addicted to drugs.

It looked like the stars simply wouldn’t align for his life, and he hadn’t even read a book in full until he was 23 – which is coincidentally the same year he started his first business.

Then, a series of transformational moments occurred that made Kerwin realize he had FAR more potential than he ever thought possible. At that point, he realized that his rollercoaster journey – through difficult lessons and significant hardships – had actually equipped him with an unparalleled ability to help others succeed. And he’s been kicking massive goals ever since.

Incredibly, he was one of the few people on the entire planet to properly foresee how dramatically things were going to change as a result of covid, and he pivoted his business accordingly.

In this interview, Kerwin and I talk about:

You’ll certainly be ready to Win the Day after this episode.


Resources / links mentioned:

📝 Kerwin Rae on Facebook

📷 Kerwin Rae on Instagram

Kerwin Rae website

🔥 Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

🧭 Unstoppable with Kerwin Rae podcast

📙 The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

🎙️ We Are Members: create a thriving business from your podcast

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

– Yoda

Today we sit down with one of the world’s foremost business growth experts, Kerwin Rae. Kerwin has amassed millions of followers with his raw, no-nonsense motivational style. In an extraordinary career, he’s helped more than 100,000 businesses in 150+ different industries, in more than a dozen countries, to achieve better results. He is also host of the Unstoppable with Kerwin Rae podcast.

But Kerwin certainly had to attend the school of hard knocks to get where he is today. At 7 years old, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning difficulties. At 15, he had the first of seven near-death experiences. And at 19, he became addicted to drugs.

It looked like the stars simply wouldn’t align for his life, and he hadn’t even read a book in full until he was 23 – which is coincidentally the same year he started his first business.

Then, a series of transformational moments occurred that made Kerwin realize he had FAR more potential than he ever thought possible. At that point, he realized that his rollercoaster journey – through difficult lessons and significant hardships – had actually equipped him with an unparalleled ability to help others succeed. And he’s been kicking massive goals ever since.

Incredibly, he was one of the few people on the entire planet to properly foresee how dramatically things were going to change as a result of covid, and he pivoted his business accordingly.

In this interview, Kerwin and I talk about:

You’ll certainly be ready to Win the Day after this episode.

James Whittaker:
You’re known for your amazing energy and larger than life presence – whether it's on stage or in the office. Who were you before the bulletproof Kerwin Rae that we see today?

Kerwin Rae:
Probably the Swiss cheese version of Kerwin Rae – full of holes. I wouldn't say I'm bulletproof. But I'd certainly say that yes, I've always had a certain aspect of my personality that is quite persistent. And I think that's played out through my life in a number of different ways. But it's hard to say. Like anyone mate, we've all been through so many different experiences in life, and I can honestly say, I've probably lived four or five different lives in the lifetime that I've had.

So it's like asking me who was I before this version? Or who was I before the version before that? But I guess you could say, I've always been someone who’s really enjoyed helping people. I'm someone who natively likes to help and support others – it’s just something I do instinctively – and I think that's played out in a range of different ways. It's been able to support me and many other people in the process.

You and I are acutely aware of the power of the mind. It's what we do with our work and we both love helping people. We know that just as we can think and grow rich, we can also think and grow poor. When you were diagnosed at the age of seven with things like ADHD, and told that you had learning difficulties, dyslexia, and all these different things, how did those labels shape your younger years? And how do you feel about putting labels, good or bad, on children these days?

At the time, I don't think I gave much credence to the labels. It was more the description and how I was treated as a result. I didn't understand ADHD and dyslexia. I just knew that I found it really difficult to learn at school, and I found it very difficult to concentrate. The teachers often made a point of making it known that I was different from everyone else in that capacity. 

At a very early age, as far back as I can remember, there was a suggestion given to me by an immediate family member that I was ‘stupid.’ In many respects, I grabbed onto it – that label of being stupid. And then I started to manifest that in a whole range of different ways. And a lot of that, the ADHD and dyslexia, was ultimately the experience of really struggling in the learning space.

Can you take us into the moment of when you shifted your mindset away from feeling stupid to feeling like you had power – the moment when, for the first time, your destiny was potentially much brighter than what you’d been told to that point?

That's a good question. I actually remember where I was. I was in Carindale in Brisbane [Australia]. I was managing a fitness equipment store at the time, and I was reading a book by Dr. David Schwartz called The Magic of Thinking Big. I remember reading that book because it was given to me by someone I knew. And as I read that book, which I read feverishly – and I never read anything feverishly because I always struggled to read. Like, I had never even read the newspaper up until this point. I didn't read anything. I don’t think, until that point, I’d even read a book cover to cover before.


Check out the YouTube or podcast or YouTube version where Kerwin does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give her 18-year-old self, his favorite book, and a whole lot more 🚀


And this book kind of attuned me into the possibility that maybe there was more potential out there, that there was a possibility of some form of growth and personal development. I read the book over three days, got to the end – which, first of all, was a serious feat because it was the first time I’d read a book cover to cover. But then I remember getting to the end of the book, looking at the back cover and thinking, “Huh, I actually fucking remember what's inside.”

Then I thought to myself, “Maybe I’m not stupid after all.” I remember thinking that exact thought.

Then I thought to myself, “Maybe I’m not stupid after all.” I remember thinking that exact thought.

From there, I just made it a practice to start reading news I was interested in. I even started buying newspapers, not because I was interested in the news, but I'd flick through the newspapers until I found a headline that caught my attention, and then I would start reading. To me, that was just a form of practice.

Wow, what an interesting catalyst.

You know, I actually grew up in Carindale for the first 15 years of my life!

There you go! I actually remember your dad.

We lived in the middle of nowhere, before all the residential developments. There was a neighboring house, but no one else around for about a 10-minute drive. So, one of my greatest athletic feats was at about the age of 12 trying to get to the corner store that was about a five-kilometer bike ride away!

I’m sure the experiences you’ve been through, like what you just mentioned, help you in the career you’ve got now where you help so many people. That story reminds me of the quote “When the student is ready, the master will appear” because you always had the ability. But it was specific resource that was able to completely change your trajectory.

Every day, I think about the sliding door moments from my own life and how they can be created for other people. Is a big part of the work that you do today to help other people create those sliding door moments that can massively change their belief of what’s possible and life trajectory?

Everyone's got their own story, and I'm not trying to put myself above or below anyone. But what I do know is I've come from a pretty interesting background where I've had a vast range of experiences that could be labeled as severe traumas. And as a result, that created a whole bunch of situations, contexts, and feelings within me. Some of those were given labels and diagnoses. But it just required a disproportionate amount of work.

I've seen the amount of work that I've had to do to get to the person I am today – and it hasn't been an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination. But that's given me a really solid set of tools because I'm one of these people who is relentless, but I'm relentless from the perspective of sustainability. I don't just want to learn how to do something once. I want to learn how to do something over and over and over again.

And through this process of learning how to develop and grow myself, I'm equipped with tools that are incredibly powerful so when I look at anyone – and it's hard to look at anyone as anything other than what they are, which is an individual with their own experiences – but knowing where I've come from, I haven't met anyone to this day that I can't look at them and believe, “There’s still hope for you.”

That’s the beautiful thing about being human. We all have this capability to grow. We all have this capability to change and transform. But it's just getting people to that point where they can see that.

Many people out there feel like they don't have a good story. Brendon Burchard talks about his car accident. Janine Shepherd, a good mutual friend of ours, was literally hit by a truck. A lot of people out there feel that they’re not good enough because they don’t have a momentous story like that. But I think there's a huge market that you're serving of people who may not have a moment of great trauma from their lives. Although, I should clarify here that I believe everyone who has reached the age of 30 has overcome significant adversity and hardship in one way or another.

You've had a bunch of near-death experiences, business challenges, and personal challenges. Was there one of those challenges in particular that stands out where you were able to identify an equivalent benefit or advantage from?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had to go through was probably the separation from my wife about three and a half years ago. That was mainly because I grew up in a single-parent household and I had these dreams and ambitions of creating a family-like environment in my own house. And when that didn’t come to fruition…

I feel very grateful that my ex-wife Kristen is an incredible human being. We’ve separated incredibly consciously, but at the time I was having this massive ideal shattered. This ideal of a mum and a dad, and a family that were going to have these big Christmases and these lives together. And when that started to come undone, from the perspective of the ideal, it required an enormous amount of work for me to balance the perspective and say, “Where’s the benefit in this? How is this serving me?”

Especially considering a significant body of my work is around relationship dynamics, and I’m now going through my own relationship breakdown. So, for me, it was beautiful and I’m so grateful. But I’m one of those people that whenever I experience challenge, I just embrace it really strongly. I love challenge. I love doing things that are hard. And when we went through that period, it was very difficult, but it was very easy to see the benefits when you’re looking for them.

Whenever I experience challenge, I just embrace it really strongly.

One of the most incredible benefits that I received was all of a sudden I became a full-time dad 50% of the time, instead of a part-time dad 100% of the time, and that was absolutely transformational for me. It changed my life in every single way, shape and form, to the point where I look at that one aspect and say, “It’s in balance. I’m good. It’s all good. I’ve got nothing to regret and everything to be grateful for.”

Absolutely. What has happened in your life, or what have you done, that now enables you to stay so calm in highly stressful situations?

A disproportionate amount of fucking meditation and all sorts of other gizmos and gimmicks! But you've also got to understand my origins, mate. I was undiagnosed SPD. And what that means is I've got family who are on the spectrum. I'm on the spectrum myself. And SPD means I have a sensory processing disorder, but it's not really a disorder – it's more like an upgrade. All of my senses are heightened. So my sense of smell, taste, touch, everything is turned up.

Now everyone might go, “Oh, that's amazing,” but it's not amazing when you give that to a child who is evolving in an environment that is quite noisy and frenetic and hasn’t demonstrated how to regulate in a healthy and functional way. So for me, growing up, I didn't know anything other than feeling stressed because I was constantly under the bombardment of amplified information, whether it be a sound, sight, you name it. Going into a shopping center was a very different experience compared to most other kids.

As a result, I think it was only a few months ago where I came to this conclusion, that I've literally gone through almost every system in my body, learning how to regulate it consciously, just to try and feel normal. But in the process, I've developed an incredible set of tools that are being used by the military, by business, by mums, by dads, by anyone to regulate stress and stay calm and cool.

People look at me and might think, “Man, how is it that you're so calm?” Well, it’s because I spent decades as a very wound up anxious little child who didn't want to be that way. And I used to look at everyone around me as a kid and go, “Why does everyone look so fucking relaxed? I feel like I'm wound up like a spring here.”

So it’s all been about the pursuit of calm. And even to give you context, there are only two base fears that we have: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. I went straight for those two. Once I identified I had a fear of heights, I did 200 skydives in 12 months. I did 60 skydives in very quick succession where I threw a heart rate monitor on and meditated in free fall with the aim of getting under 80 beats per minute and maintaining that. Now that’s not normal by any stretch of the imagination, but you've got to understand, if you can learn to meditate in freefall – you know, flying through the air at more than 200 kilometers an hour – you can fucking meditate anywhere.

I did 60 skydives in very quick succession where I threw a heart rate monitor on and meditated in free fall with the aim of getting under 80 beats per minute and maintaining that.

One of the reasons why I pursued training with weapons and why I’ve trained with special forces — and I'm very lucky to have trained with some of the Navy SEALs and European special forces groups. When I do this training, people think, “Oh, it must be mad you know, running and jumping and climbing through the mountain.”

But I'm like, “No, dude, I don't get my hands fucking dirty in the mud. I play with the guns.”

The reason I like to play with the guns is because you're working in an environment that has a very loud percussion that activates the autonomic nervous system instantaneously if you don't know how to regulate.

And if you have to execute a series of 73 moves in the next three minutes and you're activated, you can't do that. You're fucked. But by virtue of exposing yourself to those stresses consistently – whether falling out of the sky, or loud noises as part of a complex range of sequences that can get someone or yourself killed – it forces you into a new zone where you are very clear on who you have to be. But, more importantly, you understand the value of calm.

One of the reasons that people aren't calm is they don't see the value of it. When you are calm, you have this massive objectivity to be able to make multiple decisions at any one time that most people can't make, because they're stressed and they're activated. There's a lot of value in calm once you start playing in that space.

For most people, jumping out of an airplane is probably stressful enough. But you're taking that to another level of constant growth around pushing the boundary at the furthermost point, which is the meditation in freefall thing, which is incredible.

Recently I had Emily Fletcher [Ziva Meditation] on the show, and we spoke about how 80% of doctor's visits are related to stress. Yet, the people who feel the most stress often aren’t taking the daily steps to improve themselves or get out of their comfort zone.

You’ve worked with hundreds of thousands of business leaders all around the world. Is stress an underlying factor for all those people? Maybe they're too busy working in their business rather than on the business. How much of a factor is stress, and how do you help people get through that?

Look, I would say it's a massive factor, and that's one of the reasons I think that we are so successful in what we do. When we work with business owners, the clients that we work with over a long period of time, there's about one in three or one in four that will 2X to 10X in the first 18 months to two years. We teach very solid business, marketing, leadership and scaling principles, yes. But the one thing that makes us different that really sets us apart is the psychological conditioning component that we teach. And a big part of that is learning how to deal with stress. Because here's what we know about stress: stress is the number one killer of the 21st century, and it’s a multi-billion-dollar issue in the workforce.

When we have stress activated in the body, our autonomic nervous system is activated, and we go into fight or flight. Adrenaline and cortisol start flooding the system and we lose within seven minutes about 50% of our intelligence. So when stress goes up, intelligence goes down. And to me it's a valuable question to ask, “Okay, what are the situations I'm in most that have the highest level of value that requires the greatest level of calm, that if I'm stressed most situations can cause me significant consequence?” And that is in your job, in your business, in your relationship, in those moments that really count.

And so, for me, there's an absolute clear correlation that if you're going to be alive, you're going to experience a level of stress. But if you're going to be an entrepreneur – and stress is a spectrum, right? You are going to significantly start to push yourself up that spectrum of experiencing stress. And the more you can regulate stress in a healthy way, at levels that other people can't, the more you’ll enable yourself to go further than anyone else can.

That’s the beautiful thing about being human. We all have this capability to grow. We all have this capability to change and transform.

The only difference between someone who plays here and someone who plays here is not necessarily their smarts. It's their ability to expose themselves to information, in some cases, stress, at a level that they can regulate in a healthy way. That's why not everyone's going to be able to build a multibillion-dollar company because not everyone could cope with the mental stress of even considering working with those denominations and those values. And that's why you'll always find where your limit is, and wherever that limit is you'll be constrained by some level of fear that triggers a level of stress.

The more we can interpersonally learn how to regulate the systems within our body consciously, based on the recognition of that being required, then the further we can go.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, once said in a letter to shareholders, “I've made billions of failures at Amazon literally.” That’s one of the wealthiest people who ever lived actively seeking out ways that he can get out of his comfort zone because he knows that the more he can expose his company to those environments, the more comfortable it will be. Which creates that sensory awareness around bringing something quickly to market that might resonate, in contrast to your traditional bureaucracy (e.g. banks, government organizations, etc.) that moves so slowly.

You had a two-year career break around the age of 33 when you were between business ventures where you were trying to figure out your next move. What did you do during that time which enabled you to find the business and path you’re on today that you’re so passionate about?

At the age of 32 or 33, I did what I probably should have done at 18 or 19. I took some time off because I went straight out of school and was working multiple jobs, which I had been doing since grade 10 or earlier. From the moment I could work, I was working multiple jobs. And so I never took any time off. At 32, I just got out of a venture, I had some money in my pocket, and I was like, “You know what, I'm going to take some time off.” And I did, and I took some time off living on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

I just took enough time – and I think this is critical, I think this is something that everyone should be open to – I took the time to get bored. And the reason I think that's important is because it's not until we get bored that we get really curious. As I said, I've lived many different iterations of my life and my life is very full, and very rarely does it ever get boring. But this is one stage of my life that I got to where I'd basically done everything I wanted to do from a financial perspective.

I thought, “Well, maybe I want to retire now.” I took that time out. And then I started looking at who I was surrounding myself with in that phase. I was playing golf a couple of times a week with 74-year-old men who would sometimes accidentally piss their pants when they hit a good drive. And I thought, “Fuck, these guys aren’t exactly inspiring me to stay retired.”

I had to get to the point where I was so bored that I thought, “Right, I’ve got to do something. I'm going out of my fucking mind here. I’ve got to do something.” But I didn’t need to, so I put myself in a situation where I had to. After two years, I got to the point where I'd spent all my liquid capital, and if I wanted to keep living, I had to start selling assets. And I was like, “Yeah, fuck that.”

I sat down on the beach with a notepad and my cat. I had a bengal, and he's like a little leopard that thinks he's a dog. And I just started writing down what I love to do, and I kept coming back to teaching, I love teaching, I love speaking. But I was quite jaded, because when I'd come out of the industry two years previous, I'd worked in a range of different businesses, and I'd seen quite a different perspective. Like yourself, James, I'd been exposed to both sides of the seminar industry and I was just like, “I have no interest in coming back to the seminar industry.”

But I sat down to identify what I really loved to do: I love to teach, I love to help, I love to serve. Then I thought, “Well, I do that greatest when I'm speaking.” But I’d said I'd never do that again. In that moment, and I remember it was a Tuesday afternoon on that beach, it was a little bit overcast, the waves were pumping, and I made the choice that I was only going to take the stage if I would talk about something I was actually doing.

I gave myself a little bit of leeway, a 95% congruency. But with that 5%, they still needed to be things that I was going to do. The important message for myself at the time was don't talk about it unless you're fucking doing it. Don't talk to it unless you've got experience. Otherwise make it clear that you are going to do it. And that’s become a big part of our brand and making sure we’re genuine and authentic in what we do.

And I think that really comes across in everything you do. It reminds me of what you said at our event for podcasters a few months back that “Leadership is not a badge, it’s a behavior.” It’s about leading by example and taking that time to explore your intellectual curiosity.

I've got to connect you with a friend of mine, Michael Fox, who had a company called Shoes of Prey, which was the world’s first custom women’s shoe company. After a 10-year rollercoaster journey, he lost USD $25 million of investor’s money and his marriage broke up. He then took six months to explore his intellectual curiosity, and that's what led him to that mission of wanting to end industrial agriculture. And now he's created a new business called Fable Food Co that just launched in 600+ Woolworths stores, with partners like Heston Blumenthal, and they’re absolutely crushing it.

That’s great. I love that.

Once you’ve been an entrepreneur, it’s extremely hard to stop working or switch off. But big results if you can manage it properly.

I actually got the idea from David Deida in one of his books, I think it was The Way of The Superior Man. He spoke about how oftentimes what men will do is they'll keep themselves distracted, which will prevent them from discovering their purpose when they stumble upon it. And that's why I'd recommend this to a lot of people to take extended periods of time just to do nothing, just to get bored.

And we see it with kids. A big part of the Montessori method that we do with our son Noah is the importance of getting kids bored because that’s when their imaginations fire up the most.

From all the businesses and individuals that you've worked with and been able to help, is there one transformation in particular that you're most proud of or that stands out?

Yeah, there is actually. I know it might sound arrogant but my own. I feel like it’s a P.Diddy moment, “I'd like to thank me!” [laughs]

Look, it's hard. I don't know anyone as well as I know myself, so that's an honest answer. I've seen where I've come from and what I’ve gone through to get to where I am today – it's been a phenomenal transformation.

But if there's one other transformation that really stands out in my mind right now, it's Mattias, my filmmaker. When he came to me, I still remember his interview, his hair was shaking in the Skype interview and he was very mild. But the transformation, four or five years later, he's now probably one of the strongest leaders in our organization and he's got a great head on his shoulders.

He’s got his own story growing up and losing his mum at an early age. And the more I got to know him, the more I saw where he was from his journey. It’s a beautiful thing about working with a filmmaker, especially Mattias, because he's with me all the time. So you can't help but get to know him and find out more and more about each other. He's definitely one of the most phenomenal transformations I've seen.

Earlier you mentioned your six-year-old son, Noah. What do you do differently as a parent compared to how you see other people raise their kids?

I don't know because I don't look at what other people do with their kids, unless it’s in the line at Woolies [supermarket] or something.

Look, I’m like most other dads. I raise my voice every now and then. But the difference is, and this is probably the key difference, when I do I apologize straightaway. I'm human and can get a little bit on edge and lash out. I'll often say, “Buddy, I'm sorry for raising my voice. I'm not sorry for what I said, but I shouldn't raise my voice.” Then we can chat about the issue and bring it to an end that way.

So he sees me own my shit on the regular. Like, he really does see me own my shit on the regular! Which is something I hold very near and dear. But we also spend a lot of time together. I wouldn't say I’m anti-social but I'm not a massively social person. And one of the things I realized that up until the beginning in a new relationship about five or six months ago now, outside of work, 98% of my socialization was with my son, Noah.

And so I guess what that means is we spend a lot of time together. We hang out a lot, and we play cars, but one of the things we do on a very regular basis is we'll just hang out on a beanbag hugging and just talking. We will sometimes talk for hours. And I talk with him like he's a real human being and I talk with him at a high level, and I treat him with an enormous level of respect. I treat him as a human being, as an age-appropriate human being, but that comes with an incredible level of respect for the potential that he holds.

It’s up to everyone to parent their kids however they see fit based on their own experiences, but I see so many people who are quick to dictate to children how the world is. In contrast, I love asking children questions so they can tell me how the world is. I just love letting them talk and listening to their observations.

What is the biggest fear that you have for Noah as he gets older, and how are you equipping him to handle that?

I wouldn't say I have any big fears, outside of losing the little guy – that would absolutely destroy me. But I guess what I'm equipping him for is a very strong mental game. He gets some of the world's greatest coaching in some of the most important situations of his life. He really does. I look at him as, like myself, as probably one of the greatest clients I'm ever going to have. And I don't mean that in a commercial way, I just mean that in a way of service.

I'm just equipping him with a very strong mental game with a really strong focus on leadership and teamwork. Like, a disproportionate amount of our communication is around working as a team – working together, helping each other, being of service, helping people, and that kind of plays out in every context.

The other day, someone asked me, “How do you know you're successful?”

And I thought, “Okay, that's a good question.”

And I answered it honestly. I said I look at my son. I look at how he behaves in public. And that's not to say that every now and then he's not a bit of a cheeky monkey like other kids can be. He can be. But I look at the way that he treats a stranger, I look at the way that he treats the wait staff, I look at the way that he treats someone busking on the street. And he's the most polite, gentle, kind, loving human being I've ever fucking met in my life. And so that, to me, is success.

Now, I’ve just got to hold the standard for another 15 years to get him well on his way. But that's important to me. And I think that's a big part of why I do what I do. But I do an enormous, a disproportionate level, of socialization with my son.

Have you got anything that you focus on in particular to make sure that you're entirely present with him, such as switching your phone to airplane mode?

He's really good. If he's getting jacked off with the phone, he'll just give it to me straight. And we have a bit of a deal that if dad is distracted, he'll put the phone down. But also, if he has to get an important call, he can take it.

But this is one of the things that I do with my son that is maybe a little bit different as well. Yes, I give him an enormous level of presence. But I actually include him a lot of my business. You know, he sits in on a range of different meetings. He's been in planning meetings, sales calls, consulting calls, client meetings.

If he's around, he's welcome to come into the meeting, and he knows he's just got to be quiet. And so yes, that's something that I enjoy exposing him to as well.

With a 15-month-old daughter, I am astounded at how much she actually remembers and picks up. But I can't imagine the six-year-old level of consciousness. He’s going to learn so much more than what other people might actually think from participating in those situations.

And it's hilarious to see him in a meeting. In early February, I was in a meeting in the office giving someone some coaching. Noah turned to me and said, “Dad, just be nice to them. They’re new.”

Then I was like, “Oh, my God, this is hilarious.” So yeah, he's a pretty funny character. And that's why I look at how he behaves and him sitting in on these meetings and being involved in these meetings like you said, they hear everything, and they echo it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he's running the company in the next six years!

There's a poem that John Wooden used to have up in his office, and it was called ‘A Little Fellow Follows Me.’ I'll send it to you afterward, it’s incredible.

I love the sound of that.

It talks about how we’ve got a little companion who will always mimic what we do, good or bad – that whatever we do is handed down, whether we like it or not.

To switch gears for a second, you always talk about bigger, faster, stronger. How do you balance that hunger with enjoying happiness in the present?

I think it’s a practice. You don't just get happy by accident; you don't just get healthy by accident. Some people are naturally wired that way, maybe. But I think happiness is something that everybody needs to work on with a level of consciousness to be aware of how much they’re experiencing their life. And I'm no different to anybody else – I get obsessed with business performance and with everything moving so quickly, but sometimes I do forget to slow down and enjoy more.

And that's where the last few months have been quite special for me. I've now entered a new relationship for the first time, almost four years since the separation. And I've been spending more time in a family environment and bathing in a sea of happiness that is inspired by a different value to the business at a higher level. I've always bathed in the family value with my son, but to be putting myself back into the context of a family unit, it’s brought an enormous amount of happiness to me and awareness to the importance of managing that balance moving forward.

When covid hit, you were able to connect the dots quicker than anyone I’ve seen. How were you able to read the tea leaves of what was coming with covid, and how did you change your business as it was all unfolding? People might forget the uncertainty, but it was shifting wildly every day and it seemed that no one had any idea what was going on.

I guess you could say it was one-part luck, one-part smarts, and one-part timing. I'm someone who naturally gathers information every day. I use a range of different sources and look at a range of different data, depending on what's on my dashboard at the time. And somehow corona got on my dashboard on 7th January. When I read it, I thought, “Well, this is interesting.”

And I remember doing a little bit more research and thinking, “Fuck, there's something going on here.”

But then the very next day, 9th January, I jumped back on and it was media silence. And I remember thinking it was a bit strange. It went from outbreak in China to no talk at all. After about a 24-hour blackout, it was on the news again. And I just I couldn't shake it. Every day, I just kept gathering data.

So when the China outbreak happened, I was on it. When Spain, Italy, and France went up, I was on it. I ordered the first set of protective gear for our team on 18th January. We created our first biothreat response plan with the team on 24th January.

We had a 13-city tour that was scheduled for February, where I was going to be on 30 planes in 30 days, and I wanted to make sure that myself and the team were protected. A lot of people say, “Oh, it was a good intuition,” but it was just good foresight, combined with a solid intuition, and just looking at the data points.

In early January, I was literally saying on film, “Why the fuck is no one talking about this? This covid thing is taking off and no one’s talking about it.”

By 27th January I was saying, “China's been shut down for 3-4 weeks now. Everyone ships out of China, but no one is talking about this. What's going on?” When it hit, I thought, “Finally, someone's fucking paying attention,” because I'd been talking about it for seven weeks, heavily. As a result, my clients and our business were well insulated.

And it's so funny, because when I first went to my team and said, “Oh, this event will get canceled,” they were fighting it. They said it won’t be cancelled. And not only did that event get canceled, we ended up shutting down the event that we were just about to go into, like two weeks later, we shut it down halfway through. And I had team members arguing with me saying “No, that's not going to happen, it will never happen. That's impossible.” And I was like, “Oh, it's not impossible. It's going to fucking happen. Everyone needs to get their head around it now.”

For some context for those who don’t know, when you ordered all that protective equipment, that was seven weeks before the US stopped the first flights from Europe. And it was also five weeks before Nancy Pelosi held a press conference in San Francisco’s Chinatown district to reassure people that everything was fine and that they should continue their lives as normal. To make that call many weeks before those things happened is incredible.

It's kind of birthed a new division in the company. We now have, I guess you could say, a small intelligence division in the company that just gathers data. And it gathers data at whatever we point it at, which is very helpful. We’re going to explore that more moving forward.

A lot of people these days want the instant monetization strategies, the magic bullets. But for me, and I suspect you too, relationships have been by far the most valuable asset and the most valuable weapon in the arsenal. How have relationships played a role in the success that you have today?

Massively. A relationship is a dynamic that's also on a spectrum, and we're all involved in them. It just depends on what types of relationships, whether they be relationships with our family, our team, our audience, our clients. And so, as someone who is a massive introvert, it's been a real journey. Because I wanted to be like, “Okay, I just want to help people and make money, but I don't want to talk to anybody!”

It’s interesting because I see that playing out with a lot of our clients who say, “Well, I'm not really a people person.” I go, “Well, neither was I. I had to fucking learn!”

If you want to do anything well, you're going to require a team. And if we're going to have a team, there's going to be relationship dynamics at play. And fundamentally, what determines the performance of those dynamics is your communication strategy and how well you communicate. It ultimately determines the level of trust or connection that you have, which ultimately determines the quality of the collaboration.

And that collaboration might be your wife or husband. Again, that might sound cold, but it’s the reality. It's an intimate collaboration, whether its collaboration with your kid when you’re parenting, or collaboration with your team member when you are trying to lead.

As humans, we are built to collaborate. But not all of us got the best instructions on how to do that effectively.

I just had Keith Ferrazzi on the show who’s the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books like Never Eat Alone. During our interview he mentioned that the next romantic partner he wants to have will be his partner not just on the relationship side but to co-elevate with. To lift each other higher.

In a relationship that involves kids, they allocate so much meaning to the relationship the parents have with each other. Is that a big focus for you and your ex-partner – making sure the relationship you have with Noah’s mum is one he admires and respects?

As parents, we need to swallow a pill, take a step back, and start to really become aware, because a lot of parents look at the relationship dynamics of their children and say, “Well, I don’t know where that comes from.” I’ll tell you right now, there is a very high probability it came from you. Whenever Cesar Millan works with a dog, he goes, “I rehabilitate the dog and I train the human.” It’s the same thing with kids. As parents, we’ve got to be very careful with the blueprint that we demonstrate because that ultimately become the foundational operating system of how they relate in a different context.  

And that can be at an intimate level. One of the biggest fallacies that we tell our kids is that if someone is mean to you, it means they like you. What does that tell a six-year-old girl or a six-year-old boy?

“Oh, that boy is bullying me.”

“He doesn't not like you. He likes you, but he just doesn’t know how to tell you.”

And so now we start building this whole model of people treating you poorly, which you interpret as them meaning they love you. Or they start looking at the dynamics they have with their mom or their dad, and their communications strategy, and they don’t understand why their communications strategy keeps playing out in their intimate lives when they move forward.

As parents, we have a lot to answer for, but we also have a lot to be responsible for and a lot to be grateful for, if we are conscious of what we demonstrate.


Check out the YouTube or podcast or YouTube version where Kerwin does the Win the Day Rocket Round, answering questions about his favorite quote, what advice he’d give her 18-year-old self, his favorite book, and a whole lot more 🚀


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

I just get it done. To me, when you know yourself well enough, you just know what buttons to push and you can do anything, in most cases, regardless of context.

Always great to see you! Thanks for coming on the show.

Absolute pleasure, James. See you, next time buddy.

Resources / links mentioned:

📝 Kerwin Rae on Facebook

📷 Kerwin Rae on Instagram

Kerwin Rae website

🔥 Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

🧭 Unstoppable with Kerwin Rae podcast

📙 The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

🎙️ We Are Members: create a thriving business from your podcast

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Ray Kroc

The last two weeks have been interesting! On Wednesday, 1 May at 11:42 am, I became a father for the first time, as my wife gave birth to our beautiful girl, Sophie Geraldine Whittaker.

While it still feels surreal, it got me thinking—as I’m sure it does for all new parents—about what type of world our little girl will grow up in, and what we (as parents, leaders, and carers) can do to raise a child with love, respect, compassion, and willpower; someone comfortable in their own skin, who inspires others through their actions; a leader, never afraid to take the reins and do what is right.

One of the tenets of success is that every great leader was once a great follower. Through carefully modelling the habits of high performers—none more important than consistent self-discipline—in their own way, ordinary people are elevated to the elite of every profession, from athletes and entrepreneurs, to soldiers and entertainers. These one-percenters set high standards for their team, but reserve the highest standards for themselves, clearly evident in their commitment to winning the day, every day.

In Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy, British financial adviser Derek Mills noted that the biggest turning point in his life occurred after he started setting simple daily standards for himself and abiding by them at all costs. Incredibly, this small shift in accountability and action had a dramatic impact on his life, increasing his income tenfold, all while working in the same office, and allowing him to spend more time with his young family.

That’s the power of daily standards.

We’re ALL leaders in some capacity—a product of influence and action. Being a father has made me more aware than ever of how my actions, good or bad, will impact another. After all, not every leader is a positive one: leading someone astray is still leadership. Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” It’s easy to dictate how others should act—especially when we’re in a position of power, such as parents-to-children, coaches-to-players, or bosses-to-employees, but living it ourselves—whether it’s family, friendship, or business—is the most important way to inspire change.

One of my coaching clients once vented to me that her boss was constantly late to meetings, used vape cigarettes in the boardrooms, and built an enormously lavish office for himself while penny-pinching resources for his team. What a horrible standard to set for the culture, and unsurprisingly it was a revolving door of both staff and clients. My advice to her was to start looking for a new job immediately. Within three months, she had a new job that paid her 40% more, at a company with strong leadership, a clear vision, and high standards for its entire staff but most demonstrable by the management team.

In June last year, I was in Sydney as a guest on Kerwin Rae’s show, Unstoppable. On a tour of the K-Man’s office, I saw a huge mural on the wall outlining the company’s vision (below), a custom-made gym that offered free functional fitness classes throughout the week, and a leader who set the standard—day in, day out. I could feel the energy coming from the team, and they continue to crush it in all aspects. What a difference from the aforementioned example.

Think about the most chaotic parts of your own life. Are you:

If so, set standards to get back on track.

Read through the list of attributes that separates good vs bad leaders in the following table. Reflect on those attributes while perusing your Success Plan. That will give you a clear idea of what standards you need to set for yourself to achieve everything you most desire.

Good Leaders Bad Leaders
Confidently define the mission and courageously execute it. Uncertain of mission and avoid purposeful action.
Prioritize what is most important. Fall victim to destructive vices, procrastination, and distraction.
Go the extra mile with everything they do. Only do the minimum of what is required.
Passion for lifelong learning. Focus on ego and think they already know it all.
Positive mental attitude. Negative mental attitude.
Strong empathy for other people. Make fun of others and refuse to learn more about them.
Supreme accountability for all areas of their life. Blame other people for everything wrong in their life.
Ability to coordinate and empower other high performers. Constantly in conflict with other people. Bring others down to their level.
Lead by example, building a high performing team but reserving the highest standards for themselves. Strong opinions on what others should do but does not live to those same standards.

Then, write out those daily or weekly standards—as vividly and with as much color as possible—and place them somewhere you will see them frequently. Follow Derek Mills’ lead and hand a copy to your spouse, children, and boss so they know how committed you are to your own success and growth.

The final step? Live by those standards, every day.

You have an obligation to all those in your life—whether your children, parents, siblings, teammates, colleagues, or friends—to lead by example. Don’t wait until you’re in a position of authority to become a great leader.

Inspire change through your actions. Be proud to live by the highest of standards each day, regardless of the noise and negativity around you. Your example will be a perpetual gift of inspiration to the most important people in your life, leading to unprecedented happiness, freedom, and success.

As Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius said: “Waste no more time arguing about what a good person should be. Be one.” Whether it’s the battlefield or the boardroom, the best leaders demand excellence from those around them, but hold themselves to the highest standard.

After all, how you do anything is how you do everything.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

In case you missed it:
Failure: The Essential Ingredient

“There are no bargains at the counter of success. You must pay the price—in advance and in full.”

Dr Dennis Kimbro

Eyes on the Prize

In a world of instant gratification, the most important lesson for younger generations is understanding that there is no such thing as something for nothing. Unfortunately, the swelling digital parade often distracts us from our own goals by providing short-term comfort and mindless entertainment.

Those growing up today have access to everything their parents had, and thanks to the internet also have unlimited access to any information they could possibly desire—mostly for free and instantly available with the click of a finger.

Clearly, we have far more power than we could ever imagine to make our lives as happy and successful as we want, but these advancements have created the “I want it now” mentality, which promotes:

In today’s digital landscape, companies have become experts at providing an illusion that their audience is participating in life. Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, revealed an insight into the company’s initial objective when he recently stated: “The thought process was: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” As like, share and comment buttons appear on everything we see, our attention is increasingly trapped, and we become chemically dependent on the pleasurable feelings it arouses.

The human brain is a supercomputer that creates a reality from our repeated thoughts and actions. If we procrastinate, the brain will make it easier for us to procrastinate in the future. Just as readily, if we have vivid goals that we affirm and work on daily, the brain will make it easier for those goals to be achieved.

At the end of each day, you probably feel busy … but busy doing what? A busy day, extrapolated over time, should help inch us closer to our goals.

Back on Track

To get yourself back on track, take a few minutes each night to audit your effectiveness by writing down:

  1. Your three biggest achievements from that day
  2. What you could’ve done to make the day better
  3. Three things you will accomplish the next day

After a few days, this will give you a very clear indicator of whether you’re trending in the right direction.

Then, restore turbo-productivity by making sure you:

Put Yourself First

Today’s generations have the brightest opportunity in history to live with purpose and positively impact the world. Prepare a wishlist for the universe, and relentlessly pursue your potential as your highest priority.

All good things take time, and everything worth doing is worthy of your best effort. Once you have paid the price—in advance and in full—success will be yours.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

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