You Were Better Before Your Success

You were probably better before you reached success.😮

This is a painful observation I've held for a couple decades now. Several of you also have witnessed it or lived it, but nobody wants to admit it.

Yes, a better version of you existed before you achieved financial comfort.

Remember when you were younger how you were fighting to make a name and build a reputation for yourself? You put in tremendous hours of labor, marked with tears, sweat, and sometimes even blood.

You were dedicated to seeking new skills and consistently studied new knowledge. You couldn't wait to try out new things, testing your new skills, and learning from certain failure.

Remember taking bigger risks? Whether this was at your job or startup, you clearly understood the path to climb that corporate ladder on the organization chart was to establish decisiveness, leadership, and responsibility. You were willing to bet your job on some big moves to hit bigger rewards for the company.

You were hungry back then. You played a more aggressive game. You invested into yourself to create separation from the pack.

So, what happened to that version of you?

Back when I was a hiring manager in corporate, I saw this cycle repeat itself over and over with people that I'd hire. I used to think it was random, but after a decade of seeing it, I knew it was the norm.

I'd hire a young engineer, someone who aced the interview and had the right attitude and showed great potential. They were a cultural fit for the organization.

They'd come in and work hard. They absorbed knowledge and skills like a dry sponge. They were eager, determined, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and the company to win. They dressed well and took care of themselves. They'd get promoted from those entry level roles. So far, so good.

Around the six-figure income mark, things changed drastically. Most of these people were solid employees, but they lost their drive and hunger for more. They stopped taking risks and betting their name on results they knew they could achieve, but didn't.

They upgraded their lifestyles. New home, new car, fun hobbies for the weekend. I'm big on rewarding yourself, but have never wanted to settle. I see these rewards as milestones on the journey up the mountain, not stopping points or end goals.

They let their physical health fade. They no longer cared about how they dressed or their own appearance. They no longer invested in new skills or knowledge. They just blended in with the rest of the pack. Nobody wanted to stand out. Life became status quo and on cruise control.

Has your success damaged you? Do you still have that drive? Do you still take care of yourself? Do you still learn new skills and knowledge?

Do you still bet on yourself? Do you still believe in your potential?

What does your momentum say? What does your mirror say?

I challenge you to keep climbing in all areas of life. This is what it means to become "365 Driven."

-Tony


Before I Became a Business Coach

Before I became a business coach:

Corporate Experience

  • I put myself through engineering school while working full-time labor jobs.
  • Led multi-national teams of up to 75 people.
  • Managed up to $200M joint ventures and global projects, with $1M operational daily burn rates.
  • Joined a startup and led the technical bidding strategy which resulted in $1 Billion in awarded contracts in the first year.
  • Utilized legal contracts expertise to successfully reject 96% of unsolicited change orders, protecting my client from $4.8M in one year.
  • I’ve received over $1M in corporate training in leadership, operational development, contracts, processes, risk management, communications, and Human Resources.
  • Worked extended months in UK, France, Italy, Angola, and Rep of Congo.
  • Member of three M&A project teams, resulting in two 8-figure and one 9-figure acquisitions.

Personal Experience

  • Active entrepreneur since my first LLC in 2001.
  • Started 9 companies/ brands, failed at 5, succeeded in 4.
  • Built and led two online communities with hundreds of thousands of registered members.
  • Built a digital marketing creative agency which consisted of website design, logo design, cart implementations, and marketing creative.
  • Built multiple 7-figure companies with zero loans, zero capital raises, zero debt.
  • Sold two brands/ assets for millions net. LS1tech and PerformanceTrucks
  • Nominated to serve on the SEMA marketing advisory team, still active there.
  • Helped/ advised 12 of my former staff members and friends build 7, 8, and 9 figure businesses over the last 20 years.

This is why I’m qualified to do what I do. It’s who I am, and always have been.

-Tony


Becoming The Side Hustle Millionaire - with Desiree Maya - EP 279

In this special guest episode, Desiree Maya - host of the "Born Unbreakable" podcast interviews Tony Whatley.

Follow Desiree at Instagram

Find Desiree's podcast at BornUnbreakable.com


What I Learned in My 40's

 

I turned 50 last week. Here's what I observed and learned in my 40's.

I kicked-off age 40 with several wins and some momentum. I had finally started taking my diet and fitness more seriously, and regularly went to the gym.

I had just accepted a role at Chevron earning $240K per year, and had a $38K signing bonus. I bought my first Rolex. People congratulated me. I also had the wheel business netting me 6-figures on the side. I was happy and felt good about my career path and future.

I enjoyed my project team, and mentoring some of the younger members. The job was challenging on a technical level, with many moving parts, international time frames, and big dollars. My signature authority was managing $200M of a $1B project.

It only took a few months within that role for me to realize that bigger companies move slower, and that I'd have hardly any real way to create impact there. It felt a bit limiting. I was just an employee ID on badge.

Most of the other managers greeted you for the first time while mentioning how many years they were with the company. It was clear that the culture valued tenure over talent. I've always been somewhat of a maverick, trying to improve organizational processes, efficiencies, and profits. Chevron didn't seem to value that effort. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."

Between ages 41-43, I was fortunate to work for months in other countries. I worked in France, UK, Italy, Angola, and Republic of Congo. Working in other countries, living and commuting there for work, is an entirely different experience than just vacationing there. I observed cultural differences, and compared what the USA did well, and not so well. This broadened my global perspective about business and lifestyle.

The most impactful trips were the months I worked in Africa. I learned that the most extreme levels of poverty didn't automatically make people unhappy. I saw the opposite. I met and spoke with more happy locals in Africa, than I see here in the USA on a daily basis.

People everywhere are resilient, strong, hopeful, and make the best of what they have, regardless of income levels. I realized that the less people feel entitled, or behave and think someone "owes them", the happier they are. These people are more grateful about life. Money doesn't create happiness. Happiness is rooted within your soul, it is your choice, your outlook, your actions that create it.

I started to ponder my remaining 20+ career aged years ahead. Would I be happy waiting in line for desks in bigger offices to vacate? Would more Sr job titles and salary bumps really satisfy me? Was I pursuing executive titles out of ego and competitive nature? Likely yes. I was already earning more than most executives, with all I had built. I knew I had the skills and work ethic. It was just a time game, at that point. "Wait your turn."

At age 43, in 2015, there was a downturn in the oil/gas industry. The last year of my employment, there were several waves of layoffs. Our entire project team knew that we'd likely be laid off after completing the project. It was a testament of performing under pressure, not allowing emotions to dictate actions. At that point within operations, we were burning millions per day to execute. I completed my scope on time, and on budget.

I observed several unethical events on my way out of that industry. It was enough for me to realize that I didn't want to return to an industry that treated their loyal people so negatively.

I was laid off while still working in Paris. I never made it back to my Houston office, nor did I get to say goodbye to my team. I felt exhausted and underappreciated. I flew Lisa over, and we spent a few weeks driving around France, unwinding from a stressful year. We both were focused on "What next?" during those weeks.

I just knew that I wanted to create more impact in this world, but I wasn't certain which path it would be. At that point, I had the right thoughts and intentions, but I lacked urgency. I was burned out.

Urgency arrived in December 2015. I had a near-death experience while racing a car at the drag strip. I hit a concrete wall at 130 mph. I had no major injuries, but that moment before impact reframed my entire perception of time.

What if I had died? How would I be remembered? Was my imagined eulogy good enough? No, it wasn't. I'd have been remembered as "Nice rich guy, cool cars, gone too soon."

Up until that point in my life, I always tried to lead by example and mentor/help those around me, but I was also playing very small. Unless you were within proximity to me, you'd never experience the benefits I could provide. I've helped and mentored several friends to become highly successful... but how come I wasn't expanding my effort to the world?

It's because I was insecure about stepping into any spotlight. I was comfortable being the MVP behind the logos, behind the people I helped. I had built a very comfortable life without putting myself out there. I didn't like being on camera, photos, or recordings.

You see, that accident made me realize I was hiding. I was putting fear of criticism and judgment ahead of my true purpose. I had all the convenient excuses to deploy, just like many of you still do. "I'm too busy for that." "I have a family that takes up my free time." "I don't need to do that" It was all just lies I told myself, to avoid being uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

In 2017 I started writing my first book, Side Hustle Millionaire. It launched in 2018 and sold over a thousand copies the first week. It hit #1 on Amazon in several large categories, against most of the books you've likely read.

I weathered a small wave of critics, haters, and naysayers. Some of them I'd even known for years. Even had someone try to sabotage my business. I removed those people from my life. I'm grateful they exposed themselves.

Later in 2018 the 365 Driven podcast launched. Now we are 277 episodes in, and it is globally ranked in the Top-1% of all podcasts.

I've helped thousands of people find their confidence, learn business principles, and pursue their own dreams. I've advised clients with 7 and 8 figure exits, reduce their stress levels, and find more time freedom for themselves.

I no longer fear stages. I no longer fear cameras. I've invested heavily into myself to become the required character to pursue my mission and purpose. I no longer fear death, as it is inevitable.

My 40's were about living with intention, gaining awareness of the world and my innermost beliefs. It was an era of discovery and unveilings when it comes to other people and their weak intentions and false friendships.

My core values drive me, daily. I'm motivated by showing you all what is possible. I'm physically and mentally stronger than at any point previous of my life.

As a man of focused legacy and impact, I'm no longer impressed purely by someone's wealth or their internet flex. I admire the positive global impact that individuals create, regardless of their wealth.

I am now excited by uncertainty and the unknown. I look forward to what my 50's bring. 🧡

-Tony


The Truth About Alex Hormozi


I see a lot of you copying the caption style that Alex Hormozi uses. I hate to inform you, but your caption style isn't why your content isn't trending like his. 😭

It's a combination of several things that have placed the Hormozi's as the fastest growing business influencers in 2022.

First, he and his wife Leila Hormozi have established proven business results. The couple has exited companies in the 8-figures, and built a portfolio of joint ventures and equity partnerships up to over $100M annual revenue. People take advice from those who've achieved things.

They are also very articulate and intelligent, combined with certainty behind their message. Rather than repeating what others say, they both speak from their own personal experience.

Alex' appearance also breaks the traditional "look" of multi-millionaire business owners. He dresses like the gym bro that he's always been. He doesn't try to look like other people in the space. Plaid, muscles, tank tops, Crocs, jean jorts, and a scruffy beard. He just owns who he is, while most try to emulate others.

The other reason you perceive them as "blowing up" is because they both spend nearly $100K per month on their content creation team. They drop several videos daily, on every platform. You don't have the budget to compete at that level.

Lose the copycat captions. If that's the reason you believe your content is struggling, hopefully I saved you some time and money.

Just focus on:
1) Create measurable results and success in what you wish to be known for.
2) Be yourself. The best version of you, not some watered-down version of someone else.
3) Create content with consistency and quality, over long periods of time. This means years, not weeks.

You cannot skip steps!

-Tony


5 Tips For Being a Great Podcast Guest

I've been interviewed over 400 times. Here's 5 tips on being a great guest. You may also use these tips for any conversation with someone you've just met.

1. Let the host speak, too. The best interviews are conversational, not pre-planned or scripted questions. The key word is conversational. Don't get into a 10+ minute monologue about yourself, and hog the microphone. Great guests know when to shut up, and allow the host to ask the next question.

2. Stay on topic with the question being asked. Think of this from the audience's perspective. They hear their favorite host ask you a question, and then they want to know how you'll respond to it. Don't add a bunch of sidebar stories, tangents, and other things which can distract the audience from hearing your response.

3. Invest in your public speaking skills. It's not enough to just have the knowledge or expertise. If you can't communicate it clearly, and you are boring to listen to, nobody will hear what you say. This is especially difficult for men, who generally speak monotone, mono-volume, and without emotion. The most downloaded episodes aren't always the big names, they are the guests who speak with raw emotion and entertain the audience. Hire a public speaking coach, join Toastmasters, and practice. Seriously.

4. Master the art of storytelling. Learn to respond to questions with stories that make people feel an emotion. If you get interviewed often enough, you'll start to hear a pattern of similar questions. Create fictional stories as examples that relate to the topic, or even better; Recall something you've experienced yourself. Emotions, whether humor or adversity, help the audience "hear" and more importantly, remember the lesson because they'll remember your story.

5. Help promote the interview when it's published. I see so few people that do this, and it blows my mind at the opportunity missed. I feel it has to do with some guests feeling they are too big of a deal to help a small show host. You can bet these same people would tell the world if Rogan interviewed them. Why would anyone spend an hour of their time on any show, and then disregard promoting it as more social proof? It's as simple as sharing it on your Instagram Stories, sharing a post, reel, etc.. on it. I've had some of the biggest names promo my show, and that's one reason they are the biggest names now.

If you'd like me as a guest on your show or stage, contact me. 🧡

-Tony Whatley


Fancy Cars & Making Money - with Tony Whatley - EP270

Tony Whatley talks about his passion for performance cars, and how so few understand the missed business opportunities that come with owning them.

Ordinary people view cars as a waste of money or "depreciating assets" because they don't understand how the car game is played.

In this episode:

  • Learn how automotive clubs and communities can generate millions in sales, referrals, and opportunities.
  • Why you should never lease a Lambo for clout.
  • Learn what type of vehicles to buy that can actually increase in value, as you own and enjoy them.
  • Discover business tax benefits for certain vehicle purchases.

5 Tips For Coaches & Consultants

Five tips for my fellow coaches and consultants. 😎

1. Nobody will hire someone that has more perceived issues than they do. Control your craziness, meltdowns, and drama. It doesn't serve you. There is a fine line between being vulnerable online, and oversharing.

2. You'll never gain clients by shaming or guilting them into becoming your clients. Look, I get it; It seems cool nowadays to be the "blunt, tough-love" messenger. Everyone wants to be Andy Frisella, without Andy's years of work to build his brand, and his results. I'm very direct, but I also know there are a few ways to relay the same message. Ask yourself if your post shames and pushes people away, or if it encourages them to improve. I see a lot of fitness coaches failing this awareness.

3. Not gaining clients? Your consistency likely sucks. Your accountability likely has limited evidence to be found. Your discipline is lacking in glaringly obvious aspects of your life. Coaching is a full-time career, yet some of you seem to believe part-time consistency, part-time discipline, part-time content creation is going to attract clients who want to improve their accountability, discipline, and skills.

4. Great coaches live and lead by example, and demonstrate results in what they offer to help others with. Too many people want to coach something, before they've achieved results in something. A personal branding coach should have an established personal brand. A life coach should have a successful dream life that people aspire to achieve. A business coach should have built/managed a successful business. A fitness coach should appear fit and strong. A public speaking coach should have spoken on many stages. A mindset coach better have achieved at high levels of competition or overcome adversity.

5. If you are using the internet to market yourself, don't cheap out on your website and personal branding. Nothing screams amateur like a beginner level do-it-yourself website, or phone selfies as your headshot images. Professional headshot photos cost less than $500 and last for years. A professionally designed website only costs $3K-5K on average. If you can't afford that, I wouldn't hire you to coach me at anything. It's a very low investment that instantly places you above the majority you'll be compared with. Unless you have experience building professional websites, hire someone, because we can tell when you cut corners.

I hope this helps you. I want to see you win. 😘

-Tony


I Graduated Improv Comedy School

I just graduated from improv comedy school. 🙃

Here's what I learned from the last 12 months.

The very nature of improv comedy is that it is improvisational, unscripted, and has zero predictability or certainty. This alone would strike fear into the hearts of most people.

While most people talk about "stepping out of your comfort zone" by sharing memes and inspirational words about the topic, enrolling in comedy school actually best exemplifies practicing what you preach.

Compared to public speaking, Toastmasters, standing on stages with thousands in attendance, doing improv is far more challenging and uncomfortable. That's why I signed up!

Here's why improv is more challenging than public speaking.

When you practice public speaking, you get to plan your opening statement, plan your stories, and plan your closing segments. You also are continually refining your voice, your character, your persona, thus your brand.

While these exact same things exist in doing stand-up, scripted comedy, none of that exists in improv.
With improv, you don't get to pick your character, your persona, your voice, or the storyline. Most of those get assigned to you by your stage mates, and then you must build the story together, on the fly. Sometimes you might play the role of an elderly grandmother, a small child, or even an inanimate object... and have to act those roles out.

Improv forces you to become an effective listener. You must listen for details and clues from your stage mate, and be able to weave those details into a narrative and expand upon them. This alone has made me a better podcast host. I actively listen for details when guests speak, and expand further on topics or ideas.

As with any skill, there are too many strategies, tactics, and lessons to share in a simple post, but my main takeaways are that improv will force you out of your comfort zone, force you to become a detailed listener, force you to think quicker, force you to be more creative and think abstractly about ideas others won't see.

The end result is that when you know you can become confident stepping on that comedy stage, owning whatever character gets thrown your way, embracing uncertainty, this makes it much easier for you to accept your true self and who you are, in the more scripted/planned areas of your life.

If the thought of this scares you, that's the reason you should do it.

Tony

If you are in the Houston Texas area, this is the school I attended: Station Theater


How To Live An Interesting Life - with Tony Whatley - EP265

Host Tony Whatley celebrates 4 years of this podcast, and shares how we can all decide to live a more interesting life.

Thank you for being part of this journey. If you enjoy the show, tell your friends about it!

Follow / Contact Tony on Instagram @365driven