“Life is tough. You just have to be tougher.”

Author Unknown

Welcome to another week in quarantine!

Coronavirus / COVID-19 is evolving extremely quickly, so we'll continue starting things off with an overview of its latest developments – how its evolved, how its impacting different economies, and the outlook for the future. Hopefully these insights help you understand some of the wider trends so you can plan your next move.

Then, in the second half, we'll go through eight ways to make money from home so you can provide for your family during this difficult time. We know that there are a lot of people who have lost their jobs, or who have partners who have lost their jobs, so it’s more important than ever to diversify your income.

Remember, as we said in Episode 23, it’s ALWAYS your move, so use the lessons here to start being proactive about how you respond to the uncertainty, rather than reacting to the news or simply waiting for something good to arrive.

In Los Angeles (where I'm based), we're now in Week 4 of isolation. As is human nature, social media and the news are full of people complaining about being stuck at home or in a government-mandated quarantine, but spare a thought for those who are in the trenches of this truly frightening battle.

When you see what is going on in some of the worst affected areas on the planet, such as Italy and Spain, it should make it easy to be grateful for the simple things, such as a roof over our heads and the health of our family.

I wanted to take a moment here just to recognize and say an enormous thank you to the emergency services people, the first responders, and all the medical personnel (the doctors, nurses, cleaners, etc.) and everyone else on the frontlines who are fighting this battle for us. Thank you for your heroic efforts.

Your bravery is a phenomenal example for all of us and a reminder that we need to be just as strong in making sure we don’t succumb to the negativity that’s drowning the world right now.

So what has been going on with COVID-19? Well, more than 1.4 million cases have been reported around the world and 80,000 people have died. Even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has fallen ill and is reportedly now in ICU.

Of all those deaths, more than 60% of them have come from four European countries: Italy, Spain, France and Britain. Clearly, Europe is all hands on deck to increase its medical capacity and care for the sick, while trying to prevent further spread throughout the community.

Just last week, the UN Secretary General called this pandemic the greatest test the world has faced since the UN was formed 75 years ago.

“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations.”

– U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Sporting events like Wimbledon have been cancelled for the first time since World War II, and there’s already whispers that the NFL season will be completely shelved for this coming year, even though it’s not scheduled to start until September. It’s such a tough call because its sporting events that would give people a much needed distraction from all the doom and gloom.

As I’ve been saying for months now, it would be a very difficult time to be a policymaker. Everything COVID-19 related is moving so fast, and 'readiness for pandemics' is not exactly a prerequisite for most government positions. The World Health Organization has certainly botched significant elements of this crisis since day one – due, in part, to China's preference to save face on the world stage – which has left inaccurate data as the inputs for the models that each government has been relying on.

Even with conflicting models, the health concerns remain paramount (for now) and governments are looking to mobilize all available resources.

Speaking of the NFL, the New England Patriots even sent their team jet to China last week on an official humanitarian mission to bring back more than 1 million N95 masks, which they then distributed to hospitals in Massachusetts and New York.

The unemployment numbers are just as horrible as analysts expected. Check out this extraordinary chart (below) to see how this period compares to unemployment claims going back 50+ years.

Scary stuff.

CNN reported that first-time claims for unemployment benefits have surged more than 3,000% since early March. In just two weeks, 10 million jobless claims have been filed. This implies an unemployment rate of 9.5% in the US, according to Citi economist Andrew Hollenhorst.

As the quarantine and uncertainty continues at a voracious pace, expect this number to go way up – and, while these are US statistics, this is a global event so you can expect bad news on the job front in every country. Underscoring how impactful this black swan event has been, this is the fastest unemployment rise in US history and will, thus, be interesting to see how it plays out everywhere else.

Even during the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, also called the subprime mortgage crisis, the highest number of unemployment claims per week stood at about 665,000, so we’re certainly breaking records for all the wrong reasons.

Many people are receiving employer benefits for another 1-2 months, or have been asked to take leave, but the longer this goes on, the more stress it puts on companies – and they simply will have no other option than to fire staff – otherwise there will be no company for the workers to return to. While seeming to contradict government policy in many regions, the long-term viability of companies is of vital importance to each country's economy, especially if a quick recovery is to occur as more than a few analysts have suggested it might.

Even with President Trump's $2 trillion stimulus package, the largest in history (and similar stimulus packages being announced internationally), this money has to come from somewhere. The government cannot give cash handouts to its citizens forever. As soon as possible, they’re going to need people to get back to work.

Results are finally being released to highlight the impact of COVID-19 at a socioeconomic level. The below chart (via Axios) reveals that it is the lower and middle income groups who have been most affected.

You can also see that the lower income group is far less likely to have the ability to work from home, with it being reserved overwhelmingly for middle / upper income groups.

A lot of people are claiming that COVID-19 is a healthcare issue, but it’s not – it’s a community issue. If everyone stayed home for 3-4 weeks, and stayed out of contact with others, the virus would likely stop in its tracks. But because there continues to be human interaction, as people adjust to the situation and grapple to understand the severity of it, the confirmed cases will continue to rise.

The speculation of it being a healthcare issue is actually a byproduct of the community not doing what it should be doing. And that creates issues of medical capacity.

A lot of fuss has been made about the US having by far the most positive cases worldwide (more than 350,000 at last count), but that’s irresponsible reporting once again. It’s simply a matter of tests being made available. If there were no tests, there would be no cases, and the US would be at the bottom of the list.

A much more accurate metric to see what country is most impacted is to look at the deaths per capita of each country. And, for the last couple weeks, the US has been hovering around 20th on that list. If you use that metric, France is 3x worse than the US, and countries like Italy and Spain are more than 8x worse than the US, so there’s a lot more to be reported than “number of positive cases.”

There’s even doubts over the data from a lot of these countries, including places like Italy, so it’s hard to even figure out how the health experts are doing their modelling for things like illness and death projections.

Also, the more widely available testing is, the quicker a society should theoretically be able to recover. So 'more testing' could actually be a good thing. But, again, everything is evolving extremely quickly, so we’ll just keep looking at the data as its made available and do the best with the information we’ve got. (After seeing what's happened in New York and Louisiana, there's every chance the US could move up the 'death per capita per country' rankings quickly in the next few weeks.)

As always, the media continues to prophesize the end of the world. Just last week, major network CBS was caught showing alarming footage of an overflowing ward in a New York City hospital. The only problem was that this footage was actually from a hospital in Italy! And one of the most hard hit hospitals in the whole world, for that matter. That’s not doing anyone any favors, except CBS who makes money from clicks.

So, remember, go to the source when it comes to news. Look at the fire rather than the smoke and make up your own mind based on the facts.

I’m following the whole COVID-19 thing very closely. And I’m a 'glass half-full' person, so I’m still optimistic that we're not approaching the end of the world. However, when you see how seriously governments are planning for this pandemic, I’ll admit it’s a little unnerving.

Across the globe, governments have been occupying giant convention centers, warehouses, and hotels so they can stack them with beds in preparation. It gets a little eerie when you think how they would even staff those locations, since the healthcare industry was already overworked prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the benefit of my readers, I will continue to keep an eye on how it all unfolds and share my thoughts with you. (Feel free to email me with your thoughts, too, or to let me know if there's something I missed that should be included.)

Just to close off the first part of this newsletter, I want you to remember to focus on what you CAN control, rather than worrying about what you can’t. And in this situation there’s actually a whole bunch of things you can control. Panic leads to inaction, and we need you resourceful enough to figure out how you can not only survive but benefit from how things are changing.

The world will get through this and adapt to a new normal, just as it has done for global recessions and wars throughout history.

8 Ways to Make Money from Home

Let's now talk about how you can make money from home. I see a lot of people promoting “side hustles” where you trade cryptocurrency or foreign currency and – for the average person – I think those fields (and the people who are flogging them) are absolutely ludicrous.

You also shouldn't enter a position that puts you in more debt through some type of expensive educational program or other business certification, with no airtight guarantee of results. Your short-term goal should be to earn an income that provides for your family and allows you to build up your emergency fund.

If someone approaches you with an opportunity to 'get rich' in the future by, first, outlaying a substantial sum that makes the other person rich in the present, run.

Here, I'll share with you things that will actually work, so pay close attention and think about how you can action them in your own way immediately.

1. Set your work space.

This sounds a little elementary, but if you can’t get into the groove of working from home, you’ll never be able to make money from home. To do this, clear it of distractions and procrastination. Make sure the environment – your work sanctuary – inspires you.

Then, set expectations with all the other people who are in quarantine with you. The last thing you need is to be interrupted constantly just as you’re starting to get into the flow.

Studies have even shown that what you wear while working from home can impact your productivity, so throw on whatever makes you feel the best and get to work.

This step alone might 2x your daily productivity.

2. Select an audience and add huge value.

There’s a simple question you can ask yourself during moments like this: What audience am I best positioned to serve?

If you can get clear on what that audience is, and what problems they face, you can start creating solutions that solve those problems. Ideally, it would be an audience you enjoy working with and who have meaningful problems that you are passionate about solving.

Once you’ve got your audience in mind, look at your network – whether it’s your friend list on Facebook and / or the contacts in your phone – and make a list of all the names who are in that audience you want to serve. This is the perfect foundation for you to start generating an income from your expertise.

Let's quickly recap the process:

Then, get to work on a plan to add as much value to that audience as possible. Reach out to 2-3 people and listen to what problems they have. Ask them where they want to go and why they haven’t achieved the results they want. Talk to them about what support they would need to achieve their goals.

As you refine your product / service and you're ready to make it widely available, communicate! This is where a lot of people fall down. They either wait for the phone to ring, or they do the complete opposite where they’re too 'salesy' and people can smell their desperation from three countries away.

When you start a new business or create a new product, it almost certainly won’t be bought – it will need to be sold. The best way to sell it is to get clear on what problems your audience faces and then demonstrate how your solution alleviates those problems.

Hopefully by the time you have a product available, you’ll have built up so much goodwill from your audience because of how much time you’ve spent understanding them that they’ll be contacting you to ask when it’s available. But there’s nothing wrong with calling people to let them know that your exciting new solution is now available and that you’ve got a special offer just for them.

In times of uncertainty, like we’re in now, people want leadership – and that’s what you can deliver.

You might even want to start a podcast. We know that more than 37% of US adults – over 104 million people – now listen to podcasts every month. Interview experts in your industry whose calendars have likely cleared up given that they’re stuck at home, and use their guidance to help refine and add more value to your product. The more value you add, the more money you will make – they are perfectly correlated.

3. Outsource.

If you can build a team, you can exponentially amplify your impact. Virtual teams are very affordable right now and can do things around the clock if you set them up correctly. Project management company Trello wrote a fantastic guide to embracing remote work, which I highly recommend reading if you’re looking to build a high performing team without all the costs, or even if you want to simply outsource some of the tasks that you hate so you can do more of what you love.

For example, you could have someone who takes your podcast and turns it into a blog. They could then automatically turn it into multiple posts (i.e. value nuggets), and then post on your website and all your social platforms. You could have someone reach out to your clients so they feel the love during a difficult time and are less likely to fire you. You could have someone create a whole list with hundreds of people who are your prospective audience, which you can then approach knowing they at least have some degree of interest.

Or you can hire one virtual assistant who does all of that (and more) while you focus on the bigger picture. Really, the opportunities are endless.

Don't get so bogged down on the daily grind that you forget the bigger picture.

4. Leverage your own mastermind.

Modelling success is one of the most important attributes to have. It gets us out of our own head and inspired by the actions of what real industry leaders are doing. Then, you can apply that expertise in your own way on your own business with your unique voice.

For example, you could arrange a time for a Zoom call with 3-4 friends who you respect and are good at what they do. During the call, set a timer for 30 minutes on each person (to ensure the entire session is not inadvertently monopolized by one person) and go around, as a group, to brainstorm ways each person can benefit from the current situation. If you did this every three weeks, you’d never be short on ideas to thrive in this period.

I would take that one step further by organizing separate 1:1 calls with those who are more seasoned in the world of business – the people who have come through global recessions before, who can serve as mentors. Seek their counsel. I assure you, the billionaires and the heads of multinational companies are far less rattled and much more action-oriented than those who sit on the couch all day watching the news.

5. Offer your expertise.

There are services like Upwork and Fiverr that give people around the world access to professionals in each field. You can make money by helping other companies, associations, and individuals from the comfort of your own home. As you help more and more people, you will obtain better reviews and a comprehensive portfolio so you can increase your pricing.

Whichever platform you're on, look at the most in-demand people on that platform in your field and see what their profile has that others don’t. Channel that inspiration into creating your unique profile. Again, this is an example of modelling success that we mentioned earlier. If you model the losers (i.e. the under-performing profiles), you don't need me to tell you what happens.

Also, these platforms want to help you get more work because that’s how they get paid! Here's an example that Upwork wrote to help their freelancers create a profile that stands out – it's got some great tips.

And please, for the love of all that is holy, do not create some boring, generic profile. If you’re going to take the time to do something, do it well. Let your personality stand out and, most importantly, show HOW your expertise will help make other people’s lives easier.

While being aligned with one of these platforms has its advantages, you can also do this on your own. Use a free service like Loom that records your computer screen so you can create a course or share your expertise with people all over the world.

In the last month, I've also heard of individuals and companies who have ramped up their 'Pay What You Can' models, which allows people to contribute what they're able rather than having a set price – although you can still have a recommended price so people have a guide. That way, you don't feel guilty for charging a standard retail price during a time when many people are hurting (in fact, you'll probably feel better about yourself for offering flexibility to your community) and your audience is still able to use your service.

Often, for various reasons, this approach brings in more sales, and revenue typically sits closer to the regular price than you might think.

If you’re unsure of what areas of expertise you have, or you feel like you don’t have any areas of expertise at all, focus on our next point...

6. Build your skills.

Remember, the more valuable you become, the more you’ll be able to help others and justify a higher fee for doing so. There’s always an opportunity to grow and the best investment you can make is in yourself.

For example, are there any free online certifications you can get? Are there topics or industries you can learn about for free via YouTube?

Even if you’re concerned about time, you can increase the playback speed to 1.25x or 1.5x – maybe even 2x the speed – so you can get through the material at a much faster pace.

For example, building simple but engaging websites for individuals or small businesses is always an in demand field and the upskill process is short. Plus, you can essentially use the same template and follow the guidance of Squarespace, Wix, etc.

If you allocated 40 hours in the next two weeks to becoming a website designer (remembering that if you increased the playback speed it could be the equivalent of up to 80 hours of training), and then worked on 2-3 friends' websites for free (or a minimal cost), you would then have the expertise and testimonials to be able to launch your company.

Once you acquire a level of knowledge in a particular field, you can think about how you want to share that with your audience, which ties into the second point on our list.

Just remember to very explicitly state HOW the services or products you create solve the problems your audience faces. That is so important and why I am reiterating it.

The better you are at articulating the problem, the more they’ll assume you have the best solution. And the more expertise you have, the more you can help people.

A friend also sent me this spreadsheet last week. It includes links to websites that teach skills in a whole heap of different areas, everything from software engineering and computer programming to language learning and arts and crafts. Seriously, there’s some absolute gold here, with some of the links providing free access to hundreds of courses alone. Make sure you check it out.

7. Learn about affiliate sales.

If you have an engaged audience, find a product that is a great fit for your audience and become an affiliate. This allows you to promote your own or someone else’s product and earn a commission on it – whether it’s an Amazon link (which anyone can setup) or something for a higher ticket item.

It’s great way to boost your income from home. Just remember to make sure you do it in the right way and actively communicate how the solution will help alleviate your audience’s pain points, as I’ve stressed. If all you do is sell, people are going to quickly tune out. But if you create value for people, they will want to support you.

For example, there’s a website called The Wirecutter that, before it was sold to The New York Times, earned money almost exclusively on affiliate sales. It recommended the best product for most people in pretty much every category, building up a lot of trust so their quickly growing audience respected their opinion. When the audience was ready to buy an item, they wanted to use the affiliate link as a way of thanking The Wirecutter for the help it provided.

When my book Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy was launched on Amazon, I created an affiliate link for it that provides income from Amazon in addition to what the publisher pays. Today, I have affiliate links setup for products that I greatly believe in and talk about often, such as The 5 Minute Journal and Think and Grow Rich (original), etc. and just include those links whenever I mention those products.

It only takes a minute to setup affiliate links on Amazon and you can do it for millions of products. Amazon is happy to pay because you're promoting a product on their platform, and your audience wants to support you so you can keep helping them.

Think about how you can run affiliate sales in your own way that adds value to your audience.

8. Cut your costs.

Maybe it’s my background in financial planning, but I had to include this one here! The easiest way to make more money is to cut your costs, just as one of the easiest ways to lose money is to spend more. This is one of the most painfully obvious and simple tips, yet it eludes so many people.

Look at your household spending and find out where you can cut costs. Perhaps you can buy in bulk, or buy online. There’s many ways you can do this and I included it in one of my most popular ever posts called How to Become a Financial Winner.

My wife will tell you that I hate paying full price for anything in retail. Even at the grocery store, I make a game of trying to buy as much on special as I can so I can beat my record on savings at the register. That’s why, when the whole coronavirus thing hit, we had a house full of paper towels, dishwasher tablets, toilet paper, toothpaste, pasta, pasta sauce – you name it. I had bought those items in bulk at 40-50% off the full price when they were on special.

You can save thousands of dollars each year by spending a few extra minutes doing your research online, looking at comparable products in the supermarket (or wherever you’re shopping), and planning long-term.

That’s the end of our list, and hopefully you’ve already thought about this, but those items aren’t mutually exclusive. You can stack several of those methods together and start earning a lot of money from home right now. Think about what actions you want to take, and then get to work.

Stay safe out there. I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be rough, but don’t let it stop you from winning the day.

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

PS - If you found value in this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you could share it with a friend or loved one 🙂

“It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.”

General Douglas MacArthur

The title for today’s post It’s Always Your Move is an important message given everything that’s going on. Like most people, I’m stuck inside my house, but clearly the greater good is far more important than short-term inconvenience.

It’s this uncertainty that is frustrating both workers and investors alike, as we’ll go through in far more detail (remember you can always listen to the podcast or watch the YouTube version of this episode).

However, recognizing that it’s ALWAYS our move helps us feel empowered and take the actions to overcome whatever adversity we face. Yes, even a silent killer that is bringing the global economy to its knees.

First, let’s talk about the situation so far. We know that in some countries there are limited respirators available, and this means that communities, hospitals and governments are faced with extremely challenging ethical questions, like who deserves the respirator or hospital bed the most.

These are actually a lot of the types of questions that are holding up the widespread availability of self-driving cars because they’re asking similar questions about where to draw the line on whose life is the most valuable, whether they be passengers in the car, pedestrians outside the car, or animals on the road. Even in the car—should it prepare for an accident by moving the children or someone in the passenger seat out of harm’s way, or should it protect the driver first?

It’s a conversation that could seemingly be debated forever. But a pandemic like coronavirus has certainly created an enormous urgency around getting answers to those extremely difficult moral questions.

Italy quickly became the epicenter of the virus around the world and, given that the average incubation time for coronavirus is 5.1 days (that may change given how quickly this thing is moving), it’s going to take a while before we can see how effective the results of quarantine have been on the spread.

Different countries are trying different methods, and even in the US – where I’m based – these methods can differ not just within the country but even within the state, like we’ve seen last week with San Francisco imposing the strictest measures in the country while LA asked for just general social distancing.

We’re also seeing a lot of places around the world with only a few hundred cases who aren’t really taking this seriously. But, if we do the math, they should. For example, if a city has 500 people in that city infected – and the number of people infected doubles every day – it only takes 11 days before 1 MILLION people are infected. If you don’t believe me, do the numbers yourself. Start at 500 and keep doubling until you reach 1 million.

[Note: As more testing kits become available, we can expect a proportionate rise in people testing positive to having coronavirus. There is also the issue of high false-positive readings, reported to be as high as 10%, in those who do not exhibit coronavirus symptoms and is, thus, one of the reasons officials are hesitant to roll out testing kits to every citizen.]

That obviously puts an increasing, and eventually unmanageable, burden on hospitals since there are only limited resources like respirators, hospital beds, and staff. That’s why we’re seeing some places immediately begin construction of new hospitals and allowing recently retired doctors to quickly return to the profession so they can assist. This is all done to expand the medical capacity so more people can be treated.

As we said, there isn’t as much global unity as you would expect for something of this magnitude, and that’s what is contributing to most of the uncertainty. While different countries are trying different methods, social distancing becomes the default in the absence of a more evidence-based approach. Countries like the US are doing everything they can to buy time, hoping that summer will put a big natural halt to the spread, which would also allow more time for treatments to be developed since it’s still at least 12-18 months before a mass market vaccine is likely released.

We’ve even seen drugs that have already been approved by the FDA for a different purpose start to become widely available to halt the damage.

But the virus is so new that we really don’t know what impact summer will have. It seems like it SHOULD help, but it’s a big gamble for any country on the health of its citizens and its entire economy.

Even if the quarantine was successful, and summer started to reduce the cases, and the social distancing is reduced—what happens then? We’d see everyone return to work all at once, exponentially increasing the social interaction in offices, on public transport, and at other gatherings, and we could reasonably expect another huge bump in cases.

What about how flights would resume? Do you let everyone back in at the same time, or only allow those in the northern hemisphere since they will be in summer?

Australia is about to enter winter—would a country like the US who will have a very brittle economy risk another outbreak by allowing flights from countries who are in winter?

That’s the situation we’re in: more questions than answers.

When all this unfolded, the biggest focus for countries was on the health side, with the economic impact a distant second. Now, as we’re starting to see the absolutely devastating and almost instantaneous consequences of effectively halting the whole world, governments are starting to realize that the economic impact is becoming almost as bad as the health impact. That’s why we’re starting to see a larger focus on cash assistance for certain segments (like financial aid for small business), and for industries that are essential for a certain economy (like airlines in Australia).

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce even said recently that coronavirus is the “single biggest shock that global aviation has ever experienced.”

We’re also seeing the consideration of cash payouts direct to citizens and, in some places, landlords are banned from evicting tenants during this time.

Why have markets absolutely plummeted? Because, I said in my last podcast episode and again in this Win the Day Facebook Live, investors hate uncertainty. And if countries can’t even agree on a strategy to attack coronavirus, and they’re all being impacted differently and at different times, there’s only more uncertainty to come. This will be reflected in the volatility index, known as the VIX.

But, as we’ve spoken about previously, the market is driven by FEAR and GREED. If the major share markets, like the NASDAQ and the Dow in the US, or the All Ords in Australia, fall 40% or more from their previous high, they’re a huge opportunity to buy. We know the markets are overreacting because they’re pricing in the worst-case scenario. This comes from fear. The markets are not reacting to expectations, they’re reacting to uncertainty.

But how uncertain is the situation we’re in? It’s actually not that uncertain over the long term, which is why I’ve been reminding you every chance I get that you shouldn’t panic about the share market going bust. It is comprised of real companies with real products serving real customers. As long as there is a population, there will be consumption, and as long as there’s consumption there will be profit.

While the coronavirus is truly a wild situation, and the whole world is taking it one day at a time, this is totally normal for the economic cycle. In fact, one could make a very good argument that times were too good before it happened. Earlier this month, the US had celebrated the largest bull market in its history, one that stretched for 11 years. Something was always going to disrupt this bull market, and the culprit this time just happened to be a virus. Just as in 2007 it was subprime mortgages.

The market will recover.

I’m getting messages and emails everyday asking if this is the bottom of the market. That’s the wrong question, and there’s no right answer because no one knows what’s going to happen in the short term. A better question would be: How can I benefit from this situation and set myself up for long-term financial freedom?

Those who have spare cash on the sidelines right now and invest in a diversified portfolio of quality assets, even an index fund, that they can get for 40% off the recent high, will be rewarded over the long-term, even if there’s more pain in the short-term. The market has never failed to beat its previous high. But, if you succumb to the hysteria and sell, you’ve locked in a loss.

Make no mistake, as I said two weeks ago, we WILL enter a global recession. That’s more certain now than ever. But there are countless opportunities for those who are prepared to make decisions now that could set you up for the rest of your life. Just remember to keep an emergency fund because there will be a lot of job losses for the rest of 2020.

Think strategically, invest for the long term, and ignore the short-term hysteria.

That brings us to the second part of this post—how you should change your business to survive and possibly even benefit from what’s going on. It’s here I wanted to reflect on our earlier quote: “It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.”

Well, we’re in a war. It’s come to your door, whether you like it or not.

It’s like the last season of Game of Thrones, except the whitewalkers are the invisible coronavirus. This is going to have huge ramifications for those who have no idea how to handle it. But you need the will to win, to unleash that inner John Snow, and courageously and resourcefully move forward no matter how many whitewalkers are at your door or how much of your city Khaleesi burns down.

Remember, it’s ALWAYS your move. War requires the bravest among us to stand up and fight for their families, and their businesses, and their communities, so good can triumph over evil.

It’s your move.

Here’s a few steps to help you get started:

1. Step up as a leader.

Leaders communicate. Leaders stay calm. Leaders have courage under pressure. And leaders look after others around them. If you have a service business with different clients, you’re going to need to be ALL those things as you help your clients through what will undoubtedly be a rough patch.

Check out the YouTube or podcast episode of this post where I give specific examples of how your leadership will enable you to not only retain your clients but potentially gain some new ones too.

Unfortunately most professionals in these circumstances buy into the hype and are just as disillusioned as their clients. But remember your clients are looking to YOU for leadership. They WANT you to guide them, so step up to the plate.

2. Ask yourself “What’s the gift in this?”

While we’ve been on lockdown for the last couple weeks, I’ve been mostly off social media, aside from helping all those in The Day Won Mastermind group and the Win the Day group.

But I haven’t been watching television or taking a holiday – I’ve been in full day, maximum brainpower strategy sessions with a good friend of mine about a business we can launch to help people advance their careers during what will be a difficult time. Since speaking events and other meetings have been cancelled, we can dedicate ourselves almost exclusively to this new business and we’re making incredible headway. We’re doing this because we realized our time together was a gift from the situation, and it will enable us to give an even bigger gift to millions of people very soon.

No matter what industry you’re in, get your most trusted business minds together – or on the phone – and offer to exchange ideas on how you can each benefit from everything that’s going on. This is the best time ever to get your mastermind together and use that collective power to find the gift in this situation.

3. Pivot, don’t panic.

It’s during these tumultuous periods that the best opportunities are revealed. This is the best time to look at your audience, your product suite, and even revisiting the underlying mission of your business.

For example, we know that capital is going to be easier to get because of cheap interest rates. We know that unemployment will rise so it will be easier to find good staff. We know that the price of oil has fallen more than 50% in the last month alone. We know that this is the real arrival of things like virtual events. We know that event spaces are going to be cheap for the foreseeable future or for those who lock in a space now for something a year or so ahead. We know that people are going to have less disposable income and will be looking to diversify their income.

There’s so much going on right now. And there’s always a way forward if you look hard enough. Pivot, don’t panic.

4. Serve the community.

Coronavirus has indiscriminately run its way through the world, attacking all socioeconomic classes equally. Its situations like this that brings out the best and the worst in us. We’ve all seen the fights over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. But hopefully you’ve also seen how people are banding together to offer their support for others.

Now it NOT the time to shamelessly promote your paid service. But it IS the time to offer your services as a professional to help those less fortunate, or even just as a citizen to help others get through this really difficult time. If you serve the community now, people will remember it.

Stay safe out there and look after your fellow humans. Remember, we’re in a war, so rather than give up I want you to harness the will to win.

Just a quick reminder to check out the special coronavirus episode of the podcast for tips on how to manage your personal finances – it’s all still relevant. In the next post, I’ll share some strategies to help you diversify your income from home.

Also understand that I am here to be of service to YOU in any way I can. Email me anytime at info@jameswhitt.com with any questions and I'll respond to you ASAP. We can also get on a call to talk about the best way for you to move forward during this difficult time. This is totally free and to help you move forward confidently 🚀

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

J. K. Rowling

Quick announcement before we get into this post. To help people absolutely crush 2020, I’m very excited to announce The Day Won Mastermind! This begins on 24th February 2020 and will be a 3-month program. It’s designed for professionals and entrepreneurs who want to find their voice, build their tribe, and make an impact.

I want to make sure I can allocate the proper amount of time for each person, so spots are strictly limited! I'll be sharing everything I know about success, happiness, and creating a life of freedom. If you want the ultimate foundation for success in 2020, to have me work with you on your business and your personal life, and to surround yourself with people who can help you along the way, grab one of the places while you can.

There's also a special bonus for the first 10 people to join. To reserve your place, or get more info, go to The Day Won Mastermind.

Alright, back to our post!

What does the "New Year" mean to you? For most people, it's a night of partying or a chance to have a holiday. Both of those are fine because it's important to have fun, but it's useful to know that the New Year marks a complete orbiting of the Earth around the sun. Recently, more and more, I've enjoyed it as an opportunity to refocus on what's most important and chart a detailed course for the next 12 months.

This celestial significance of the New Year gives us three insights:

As we begin our list, grab a notepad and brainstorm how you can apply these into your life. If you can do that consistently, your success in 2020 is assured.

1. Clearly define goals.

Napoleon Hill wrote that the starting point of ALL achievement is desire. In fact, he made it the very first principle of Think and Grow Rich, so that gives you an idea of just how important this step is. After all, if you don’t know what your perfect destination looks like, how can you expect to end up anywhere near there?

Once you’ve got that perfect destination in mind—in each area of your life that’s important to you (download this free Success Plan Template for a step-by-step guide)—turn it into clearly defined goals that are:

As you’re preparing these goals, let your thoughts run wild, unencumbered by what others may think. On this journey to living a life on your own terms, you’re going to encounter a lot of people with their ill-informed opinions, but you must remember that the most important opinion is how you feel about yourself.

Financial freedom in particular is a huge goal for so many people, as it should be; therefore, I strongly encourage you to read this post 'How to Become a Financial Winner' to get yourself on the right track. A recent study even revealed that wealthy people live longer and in better physical health, so make it a priority for you.

2. Hang out with the right people.

Ever driven in a Ford car? I’m sure you have. You might even have owned one. In the 109 years since it was founded, the Ford Motor Company has built more than 350 million automobiles, averaging a new car sold every 10 seconds. Its founder, Henry Ford, passed away in 1947 with a net worth of more than US $200 billion (adjusted for inflation).

Not bad for a poor, illiterate kid.

Henry Ford once said: “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” That’s one of my favorite quotes because seeing how your life has changed as a result of someone else’s presence is a very clear yardstick for the value of that relationship.

Often, we feel obligated to keep associating with people just because we went to school with them, or they’re a family friend, or maybe even a family member. But it’s important to protect your energy source, which includes understanding the following:

Over the holiday period, you might’ve bumped into some of the toxic people that made your skin crawl. Well, now is the time to replace them with someone who makes you happy and helps you succeed!

If you’re not sure where to start, join the Win the Day Facebook group and introduce yourself! We’ve got almost 400 people there just looking for ways to help others.

3. Create a positive environment.

A big learning for me in the last few years is recognizing the full magnitude that our mental state has to the meaning we attach to a given situation. If we’re in a grumpy mood, we’re going to focus a lot more negatively about any situation presented to us; yet, if we’re in an inspired mood, we’ll see the BEST in any situation.

There are mental tricks we can play to get into a positive mood, just as there are things that pull us into a negative state. What can you do? Just as we think about intent for how to structure the day, we can apply this just as readily to environmental care:

Even listening to a podcast or an audiobook once a day can help you give the constant repetition of positive materials to put you in the right head space.

4. Have strong systems to achieve.

This is where most well-intentioned people fall down. The absolutely essential next step after defining your goals is to BUILD them into your daily life so you know, every single day, what work you need to do and how it relates to your long-term mission.

Every year, I complete the Success Plan Template, then turn those 90-day goals into action items that then go into my calendar. After 90 days, I have another notification that goes off to do the next 90 days worth of goals and action items. What that is release yourself of stress today because you know the outcome already.

Contrast this to those who either don’t set goals in the first place, or do—but never create a strong system to actually achieve them.

There’s one final fail-safe measure here that you can take: When you wake up each day, write down three things you’re grateful for and three things that would make today a win. This ensures that EVERYTHING you do is with intent and positions you as the hero of your own story, rather than having to stare glumly or enviously at what everyone else is doing.

5. Attach happiness to the present.

The digital age has greatly exacerbated our self-esteem. When we don’t have a worthy method for self-evaluation, we look elsewhere for it, and images of ‘perfect’ people are thrust into our vision from all the social media platforms. This is where phrases like “I’ll be happy if…” and “I’ll be happy when…” become our mantra, as we attach our happiness to the success we believe others have that continues to elude us. This can be anything, from a desirable partner to a thriving business, or even having someone else’s body.

But true happiness is not just found in the present, it’s found by being present. So enjoy being in the present, come rain, hail or shine, and say “Yes!” to life more often. Just be aware that this step will be much easier to complete after you’ve done the preceding four steps.

6. Join a mastermind.

Rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars and years of your time trying to figure it out yourself, find someone who has the success you want and do what they tell you! If you join a mastermind that gives you unprecedented access with someone you admire, while allowing you to collaborate with other like-minded people, your idea of what you can achieve will increase exponentially and your journey to getting there will be so much faster.

To find a good mastermind, just make sure:

A good mastermind will give you massive amounts of structure, challenge, and accountability in all areas of your life.


I wish you every success and happiness in 2020!

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

PS - Remember to secure your place in The Day Won Mastermind (or schedule a call to find out if it's the right fit for you).

“Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.”

Naguib Mahfouz

During the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to attend events around the world, from Dallas and San Diego to New York and London, and it never ceases to amaze me how important gatherings of like-minded people can be, not just for our happiness in the present but to help us adjust our sails for what we want in the future.

In particular, the Pathfinder Mastermind in Austin, Texas (don’t worry—I’ll be sharing everything I learned at that with you very soon!) was a powerful reminder that the key to connecting the dots on our future is found in the conversations we have with others. The better our process of meeting new and interesting people, the quicker our route to making an impact will be—and the larger our impact will be.

Want to get your hands on a free signed copy of 'Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy'? Check out the YouTube or Podcast versions of this episode for details on how you can win!

If you work by yourself a lot of the time (or have a mundane routine)—which is a huge trap for entrepreneurs—it’s easy to feel increasingly rudderless without even realizing that it’s happening. Sometimes, simply attending an event can give you the jolt of inspiration and direction you need.

If you’re serious about your professional aspirations, the message is clear: you’ve got to show up to blow up. And events can be used as the ultimate forced multiplier for your life and business.

Let’s look at the three different types of events and how you can leverage them.

1. Attending events.

There are many benefits to attending events, such as:

Wherever you live, there are probably hundreds of events happening each week. The key is connecting with one or two people who can help you pinpoint the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Then, show up!

2. Speaking at events.

One of the best ways to position yourself as an authority in your field is to speak on as many stages as you can. But remember, just like every good leader was once a good follower, you can only be a powerful orator when you’ve watched dozens of other leading speakers work their magic.

To this day, I love seeing how some of the world’s most renowned speakers, such as Janine Shepherd, Brendon Burchard, and Vinh Giang use the stage to tell their story in a way that excites people to make actionable change in their own lives. Some speakers would rather avoid being seen in the ‘audience’ but I sit attentively with a notepad and take notes on things that I can do to improve and make my next speech more impactful—we can learn from everyone.

Watching other speakers on YouTube is an okay substitute, but you miss out on the myriad benefits of attending in person. If you have any desire to be on stage at some point in your life, and you should—whether it’s a wedding toast, business presentation, or product launch—the best education is to:

This year, I’ve spoken alongside some of my heroes, many of whom I now call my friends because of our shared experience at these events. That process has been enormously invigorating in itself, and never would’ve happened if I hadn’t made the decision to show up.

3. Hosting events.

Hosting events incorporates the previous two, since you’re not only an attendee but you’ll also act as the facilitator too.

While there are many different types of events, some of the most beneficial ones can be found in small groups. I really enjoy the format of having 6-10 people in a room where you spend a good amount of time on each person individually and then having some free time to mingle afterwards. Learn more about how to host masterminds that work.

Regardless of what service you offer, or what problem you’re currently facing (personal or professional), providing an environment for people with similar values, who are trying to solve problems for the same audience you have but in a complementary profession, is one of the most powerful ways to multiply your impact. Having a small group setting enables you to minimize costs while positioning yourself as a super-connector who can readily bring together interesting people.

Even if it’s just those with similar values, forging a meaningful connection with them will open you up to their entire network. If you’re looking to grow your business or network, this is an absolute no-brainer.

Better yet, if you’re hosting the event, it forces you to show up!

(Check out the YouTube and Podcast versions of this episode for some practical examples of how you can host life-changing events.)

Showing up to events might scare you—it does for most people, and it’s certainly uncomfortable walking into a room of strangers. But think again about the quote for this episode:

“Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.”

Your best life is on the other side of that fear you’re feeling, so make a commitment to show up—time and time again.

And when you do show up, always remember that the best way to GET is to GIVE. Solve other people’s problems, and you’ll have an army ready to solve your own.

Get out there and win the day!

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

PS - If you’re not sure what events would be a good fit for you, just join the Win the Day group and post a comment with your location, area of expertise, and goals, and I’ll help you as much as I can.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When faced with misfortune, most people are quick to lash out at others. Yet, high achievers know that it’s not laying blame that leads to success—it’s proudly taking ownership of every aspect of your life.

These 10 questions will empower you to rise in almost any situation, allowing you to reset your energy, prepare actionable plans, and advance with stronger resilience than ever before.

1. What’s the gift in this? 

Understanding this has been one of the most profound turning points in my life. Incredible stories of Janine Shepherd and Jim Stovall prove that there’s a gift in every adversity … you just have to find it. While a challenging skill to master in the moment, dig deep and you’ll find a little comfort in even the most difficult hardship. Mastery of resilience is the foundation of the growth mindset and what keeps high performers focused when others give up.

2. What am I grateful for?

Numerous studies, including this one from UC Berkeley, have shown that people who use a regular gratitude practice are happier. When you’re focused on positive energy, it shifts your focus from resentment and envy to abundance, improving everything from personal relationships to career success. If you’re new to gratitude, grab a copy of The 5 Minute Journal—it’s what I use personally and is truly lifechanging. Also, schedule a weekly calendar reminder to send good vibes—whether a message, phone call or email—to someone whose efforts and support you appreciate. 

3. What do I truly want?

If you’re working a job you hate, or spending too much time helping someone else achieve their goals, perhaps it’s time you restored balance into the equation and thought about what you wanted. Readers of Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy might recall the greatest turning point in Sandy Gallagher’s career was when she realized her entire life had been about making someone else—her father—happy. As she transitioned toward forging her own path, Sandy found that she was not only happier and more fulfilled in her new career, she was able to positively impact far more people, too.

4. Why am I doing this?

As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” When you’re clear on why you do what you do, whether an individual or a company, it allows you to persist through adversity, attract a tribe of people excited in your mission, and remain constantly alert for resources that will help you on your journey—the ultimate pathway to finding your how. 

5. What am I willing to sacrifice each day? 

In a world of instant gratification, buck the trend of demanding it now and, instead, proudly put in the work. This is a fundamental step emphasized repeatedly in Think and Grow Rich and the process of autosuggestion. With your most important goals, write down the specific actions you’ll take—the price you’re willing to pay—to make them a reality. You’ll find that the level of success you achieve is in direct proportion to the consistent effort you take. 

6. What three biggest distractors can I eliminate? 

Audit your time each day for one week so you can easily pinpoint where you’re knocked off course. (Even simple things such as deleting time-wasting apps, switching your phone to airplane mode for regular blocks, and removing clutter, can all make a massive difference to your daily productivity.) Next, look around your living and working environments. If they don’t motivate you to go the extra mile each day, make some changes. In my office, I have a huge print that says “ACTION: The difference between having and wanting” reminding me of the importance of sustained effort. Surround yourself with inspiration. 

7. Who am I spending the most time with? 

Your energy source is the most important part of your life and should be insulated from sabotage at all costs. Surround yourself with people who think positive, dream big, and align with your values—those demonstrated in the top-right corner of the Friendship-Success Quadrant (below). You’ll find your energy levels increase tenfold as a result. This is the power of the mastermind and the one attribute that has made the most significant difference in my own life. Once you’ve found the right people, use this to turbocharge your success.

8. What mental health practices have I got scheduled?

Paradoxically, we often reserve our love and kindness for others, and then engage in negative self-talk when we’re alone—it’s certainly a weakness of mine. Rob Dyrdek introduced me to Dr George Pratt, the clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist who Rob credits as changing his life. George helped me to be more aware of negative self-talk and gave me some exercises that I now have scheduled in my calendar every week to keep focused, relaxed and happy. Here’s a short one you can try. Don’t just make time for your mental health, schedule it. 

9. What would it look like if it were easy? 

As part of human nature, and only enhanced in the digital age, we often massively overthink and overcomplicate situations. Sometimes, taking a step back and giving ourselves a mental reset to ponder “What would this look like if it were easy?” can be the quickest way to an acceptable solution, saving valuable time and energy in the process. 

10. In December 2019, reflecting on the year just gone, what 3-5 things happened that made me the happiest?

The end of the calendar year is a good reference point for how your life is progressing. If you’re unable to answer this question quickly, fill out the Success Plan (template). Feel the emotions of having already attained those 3-5 things, then make sure you’ve got a detailed plan—with regular action items scheduled—built into your weekly calendar so imagination becomes reality. High performers all have systems to optimize their success.

Through a calm demeanor and an inquisitive mind, the best way forward is always revealed. Remember, you are the only problem you will ever have and YOU are the only solution.

Take actions today that your future self will thank you for. After all, the right question could save your life.

Onwards and upwards always,
James W.

In case you missed it: The One Number that Doesn’t Matter’

PS – Join my VIP newsletter AND get a free bonus from Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy (instant download).

“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 (Excel | PDF). 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.

“Find a way or make a way.”

Elon Musk

🚀 Download your Success Plan Template (updated for 2021).

One of the most important actions you can ever take is creating your own definition of success. It is the foundation on which all great achievement is built and paves the way for everything else to flow in to your life at the right time.

To help you on your journey, I’m giving you my Success Plan Template (updated for 2021). Simply download, complete and start taking action. There are two tabs: i) the Template, and ii) Instructions to explain the steps in more detail. If you have any questions on how to complete it, let us know and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

Also, here are four tips inspired by my conversations with more than 100 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, business icons and athletes to help you turn dreams into actions and, most importantly, results.


1. Identify what you want from all areas of your life.

Yes, that’s right – not money, but ALL areas of your life. Perhaps it’s to:

There are infinite possibilities. While it can be very beneficial, even advisable, to sit down with the most important people in your personal and professional lives to ask for honest feedback on how you can improve, this ultimately needs to be your definition of success so it aligns with your ‘why.’

With a clear idea of what success looks like to you, turn your attention to goals.

2. Write your goals down.

Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently studied the power of goal setting. Matthews discovered that those who write down their goals on a regular basis are 42% more likely to achieve them. That’s a huge advantage! Remember to write them down as specifically as possible.

In Think and Grow Rich, the bestselling self-help book of all time, Napoleon Hill wrote about the relationship between goals and the subconscious mind: “The subconscious mind alone is the medium through which prayer may be transmitted to the source capable of answering prayer.” By writing our goals down we’re putting a rocket under our subconscious, instructing it to take the necessary actions that will make those goals a reality.

🚀 Download your Success Plan Template (updated for 2021).

3. Take simple and consistent action.

Channel any inspiration and excitement to mapping out your goals, but when it comes to execution the surest path to victory is simple and consistent action. A lot of people aren’t sure what action they should be taking, but when you’ve got your perfect destination in mind the first, second and third steps are much more obvious. Fill out the ‘Perfect Destination’ column on the Success Plan Template, then notice how much easier it is to complete the rest.

Also, remember to begin on step one. If your goal was to run a marathon, you wouldn’t start your first training session by actually doing a marathon. Play the long game and do the work that day one requires. Regardless of the goal, the key to victory is simple and consistent action.

4. Win the day.

It can be easy to feel impatient or frustrated at a perceived lack of progress. Instead of worrying about the harvest you reap (the results), focus on the seeds you sow (the daily actions). Each day, be grateful for the opportunity to take ownership of your life and stay committed to excitedly working to bring your goals to life.


Remember, no one is born with a gold medal around their neck. Every great endeavor, innovation or achievement—whether you’re Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey—was once a simple thought impulse. Create your own definition of success, share it with those closest to you, and start living with intent, passion and purpose.

Get out there and make some magic!

Onwards and upwards always,
James Whittaker

PS – Subscribe to the Win the Day™ with James Whittaker podcast and get access to episodes (we've got some BIG ones coming up shortly!) as soon as they're released.

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