Stepping Out From Shadows

I never planned to be in movies, on TV, or to be a public speaker. 😮

Only a few years ago, I avoided situations where I'd be on camera or in videos. I also had stage fright about speaking in front of audiences I didn't know.

I built a very comfortable, successful life without being in any spotlight. It was easier that way. I convinced myself that I could be happy being the MVP in the background. Hiding behind my company logos.

I shared many of the same excuses that you probably do. I didn't "need" to put myself out there. I was "too busy". People that did so "have big egos, or are narcissists."

But the real hard truth is that I didn't have the confidence to be on stages or cameras. I wasn't living up to my own standards, especially the standards I judged others by.

I pursued money and material possessions and sacrificed time with people that matter most. I was out of shape. I still allowed the news headlines to control my emotions. My positive impact range only reached a handful of people around me.

On a deeper level, I have a skin condition known as Vitiligo. I'm covered head to toe with white spots. I had bullies in jr high that would make fun of how I looked. So, I learned to avoid situations that were based on appearances.

At some point in your life, your purpose will hopefully become much stronger than your fears. It took a near-death experience for me to realize it was just my own fear that was holding me back.

Here's the thing you need to understand about your fears; You will have critics. You will have haters. You will have naysayers. There's no avoiding them.

It becomes your duty to improve yourself daily, in all areas. Once you've become someone that lives and leads by example, with a strong enough purpose, then the words of those critics won't matter.

This isn't an easy journey. But neither is continuing to hide in the shadows, and never realizing your full potential.

Discipline Leads to an Easier Life

The people I lead keep me disciplined and accountable.

It's impossible to lead high performers without living by example, yourself.

You cannot be average in mindset.
You cannot be average in health and fitness.
You cannot be average in relationships.
You cannot be average in influence and leadership.
You cannot be average in money.

I consistently make better decisions because I carry high standards, and I expect my clients to do the same. Hypocrisy is a choice you can avoid, based on your decisions.

I don't drink alcohol.
I don't smoke or vape.
I don't use drugs, psychedelics, or get high to escape reality.
I don't eat crap food.
I don't drink chemicals like sodas or energy drinks.

True high performers don't fill their tank with 87 octane, when 100+ octane is required for high performance.
Many people consider themselves high performers, but they usually only perform in a few areas. They ignore the areas that they are weaker in, hoping that everyone only notices the areas they are stronger in.

The fat dude hopes you notice his Ferrari, not his shape.
The fit dude hopes you notice his abs, not his empty bank account.
The weak mindset person will spend all day arguing on Facebook.
The low confidence person will hide from photos and spotlights.

Here's the truth about high performers. To outsiders, it seems like it would be difficult to live to these standards. In reality, it is actually easier to live to high performing standards, once you've achieved these levels. That's right, it is EASIER.

Life is easier when you are healthy and fit.
Life is easier when you are confident.
Life is easier when you have money.
Life is easier when you become influential and a leader.
Life is easier when your relationships are stronger.

You must make the decision to do something about your situation. Everything is possible.


Internet Marketers Ignore The Truth

Internet marketers ignore the obvious truth about their success. 😮

How many times have you seen one of your favorite marketers make a post telling you how they earned 100K in a week, or maybe even a million on a launch?

The good ones aren't lying about their result. I've even earned over 100K in a week during a program launch, and I'm not a celebrity.

It's not easy to achieve results like this. It's actually a rare exception, even if these marketers make it appear easy to do or duplicate.

The part they conveniently skip past, is the requirement to have a sizable audience or following, first. It's relatively predictable to earn a six or seven figure launch, if you've built a legit six or seven figure following or community.

Most of you don't have the audience or following. You can't skip that part. Even if you buy their courses and learn their course/program launch tactics, you'd be lucky to earn a grand, without the audience.

So the real challenge becomes "How do I build an audience or followers?"

The answer to that question isn't desirable or easy. Most of you are too impatient to do the work, consistently over YEARS to create that result. Your impatience has you quitting or pivoting after only a few months.

Then you fall into the trap of buying fake followers to appear bigger than you are. That only further dilutes your message, because now even fewer of your legit audience will see your content.

Many of you join groups, hoping you can use those groups as your own audience. That doesn't work. So you join other groups and keep trying to do the same thing, semi-spamming the groups and trying to be clever with your self-promo posts. People are smarter than you think, they see right through it.

There are specific skill sets you should focus on, if you want to become a leader or become more influential. Communication skills. Active listening. Power and positioning tactics. Becoming more bold with your thoughts and words, and so on. Quit playing middle-of-the-road and trying to make people like you.

Understand that six and seven figure weeks actually require years of effort and improvement to achieve that result. It isn't as easy as these marketers try to make you believe. The results they get have taken years to achieve.


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.


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. 🧡


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

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. 😘


Don't Tolerate Them Just Because...

You likely share common interests or hobbies with negative or toxic people. This doesn't mean you should remain friends with them.

As I approach age 50, this has been one of my more recent realizations over the last few years. I'm not sure why it took me so long to come to this conclusion, so I hope this helps you reach the awareness much sooner.

It's common for us to find others with similar interests, and we initially enjoy those early conversations, events, and activities with these people. We don't know much about them, other than we have something in common, so we think they must be cool, too.

That's not always the case. In every group of people, there will always be a few that lack integrity, are dishonest, envious, manipulators, unethical, thieves, and any other negatives you might think of. The good/bad ratios aren't any different from a normal population of people.

For some reason, we tend to tolerate the negative behaviors, actions, and words more, from those we share interests with. Is it because we feel like we are part of a tribe, and don't want to lose access to the tribe? Perhaps.

In the past, I used to tolerate fellow car enthusiasts and racers. Some of these connections were 20+ years deep. I knew some of them weren't good people, but I didn't want to rock any boats.

Nowadays I assess each person in my life and my proximity, on an individual basis. I couldn't give one shit what we have in common.

If I see too many negative words, actions, and behaviors, that's a pattern. It reveals your character, your insecurities, and your intentions. I don't tolerate it, and I'll create boundaries and remove you.

I hope this message raises your awareness. Don't hold onto people based on how long you've known them. Don't hold onto people because you share an interest. People change, and you should also change - by improving.


10 Life Rules I've Learned From Mistakes

10 life rules to share, which I've learned from making mistakes. 😮

1. Never assume other people think how you think, believe what you believe, or know what you know.

2. Very few people want to be a leader. Most just want the paycheck and job title associated with being a leader. True leaders lead regardless of job title or position, even when it isn't their duty to do so. Don't promote people based on performance within supporting roles, unless they've also demonstrated they continuously lead others.

3. Never take financial or investment advice from someone with less net worth than you have. They may know what to say, but they may not know how to play the game.

4. Do not waste another minute in any relationship with someone who does not support or believe in you. It's better to be alone than to carry an anchor on your back.

5. Call your shots and utilize external accountability from others to complete your daily, weekly, and yearly goals. There is no "hustle hard in silence" until you've demonstrated amazing results and proven discipline. Most people keep quiet so that they can simply fail in silence, to avoid having other know about their failures. Don't you want to achieve goals, instead?

6. Hang around with a bunch of divorced people, and you'll likely end up divorced, too. That mindset is contagious, and I've seen this play out too many times to count. Hang around with people who gossip, and they will gossip about you when you aren't around.

7. The ultimate key to happiness is simple. Control access to your mind. Stop watching the news, which is just manipulative propaganda intended to stir up negative emotions. Unsubscribe and unfollow all news media, and unfriend or unfollow people that keep sharing the atrocious news headline articles. You control what you see and read, nobody else.

8. Most people define their self worth, or worse; Their ceiling of potential, based on a snapshot of their current salary, profession, or income level. We are conditioned to believe the levels of society exist, and that we must fit in, somewhere. This is all imaginary. Your potential is endless and has no limit. The only limit is what you believe for yourself; or what others have told you about your limits.

9. Broken, insecure, envious mindsets exist within the entire spectrum of social and financial standings. As you earn more and surround yourself with others earning more, you'll discover that these negative mindsets aren't something that you graduate from, or earn enough to outgrow from. Victim and fixed mindset people exist everywhere, at every income level. Avoid those people, they tend to run in groups.

10. Most will never achieve what they truly want, because most will never sacrifice something they truly love, in order to move backwards. Sometimes the correct move is to move backwards momentarily, regroup, and redirect focus. Scarcity mindset causes people to hold on to what they possess with a death-grip. Your material possessions, career, lifestyle, perceived status, distracting or expensive hobbies, etc... It's easy to give up things you don't really care about, but nearly impossible for most to give up things they truly love and enjoy; even if the sacrifice is short-term and leads them to their dream life.

-Tony Whatley

Mr. President? No Thanks.

I would not want to be President of The United States.

Why would anyone want to be the leader of a broken government?

The President takes the blame for all the negativity that comes as a result of government failures, interference, or actions.

The President never receives acknowledgement for the good results. People demand those results, anyways.

The President has no authority over the major problem that exists within our government; Our Congress.

Congress consists of 535 elected people, who are more interested in voting based on political party, rather than on what is good for the country.

The two-party political system is broken. People in Congress vote based on party to keep their own jobs, rather than represent the needs of the country.

It requires zero logic, zero ideas, zero individual leadership to simply vote red or blue. These Congress members simply do what their party leaders tell them to do, or else.

Members of Congress earn less than $200K per year salary, but exit as multi-millionaires. They often get away with bribery, insider trading, extortion, and other felonies.

So we have 535 people living well above their salaried means, getting special privileges above and beyond normal citizens, earning millions from side-hustles while claiming no conflicts of interest... and the President takes all the blame for their actions, and inaction.

This country needs Congress member term limits, just like the President. No more lifetime politicians, period.

This country needs to do away with the two-party politics, and to adopt the process of voting on politicians as individuals; by judging their unique character, ideas, and core values.

But, we know this will never happen. Those in control enjoy their money trails. They love the games they have created.

Who would want to be the President of that bullshit? Not me.

I'll be over here teaching millions of people how to succeed, regardless of who sits in the White House.