Wes Watson is a leading entrepreneur in professional development/self-improvement, a very crowded space, yet he’s managed to stand out. I think his brutally honest and unfiltered nature draws people to him. He’s as authentic as it gets…
Watson leverages social media like everyone, but also to hold himself to account with some pretty impressive commitments, starting with the fact that he wakes up every morning at 2:30 AM (documented on social) and has done so for the last 14 years…
A remarkable aspect of Wes Watson’s regiment and mindset, I think, is that if you can accomplish 70% of what he preaches, you’re probably going to do very well.
Watson sets a high bar, and it’s motivating. In my view, his militant, all-in approach to creating a life of achievement and personal growth makes him one-of-one (perhaps a one-of-three if you account for Goggins and Jocko Willink). He takes his roles as entrepreneur, servant, patriarch, husband, and father intensely serious, which I deeply respect. Watch a few of his YouTube videos, starting here and here, and you’ll see what I mean.
Wes Watson’s backstory makes his success all the more inspiring. He has lived at the very bottom of society, spending ten years in federal prison.
Because of his time served, Watson’s shown hundreds of thousands of people that no matter their starting point, the sky is the limit if they live by the mantra that discipline equals freedom.
Heading into prison, Watson explains how he was exposed to his weaknesses for the first time. He knew that dramatic personal change was vital if he wanted to survive and eventually thrive in prison…
He’d have to become selfless and serve others. His mind would have to be built up into an impenetrable vessel of positivity. And his physicality would have to be world-class. In prison, Watson developed his relentless fitness and mindset regiments that would inevitably create the multi-millionaire entrepreneur he is today.
‘Non-Negotiable’ is blunt, unapologetic, and at times quite a surprising book. It’s a quick read guaranteed to get you into self-reflection and inspire change. It helped crystallize for me some of the aspects of my life, both personal and professional, that need more commitment.
I’m a huge fan of Wes, as you can tell, and here are three (there are many more) learnings from his book ‘Non-Negotiable’:
If you have a vice, quit it cold turkey: If you have a crutch that continually brings you down, negatively impacting your performance or relationships, stopping cold turkey is the only option.
Watson was a heavy drug user and drinker back in the day. So was his wife (alcohol). Because of all the bad decisions he made while on drugs or booze, Watson doesn’t touch the stuff, nor does his wife.
Watson has often spoken about all the pain and suffering substance abuse caused in his life on his YouTube channel. He’s candid about it. And while he’s not saying everyone must cut drinking cold turkey, he explains that if any choice or activity in your life has caused regret, cut it out right now. It’s a vice that can bring no good and will, in his words, “lower your frequency.”
Whether it’s booze, gambling, binge-watching, or something else, I think we all have vices in our life that hinder growth. It can be a habit such as smoking, a friend who isn’t a good fit in your life, or even a hobby that consumes too much of your valuable free time. Examine your life for things that have caused regret and stop — cold turkey.
Personal note: Unfortunately, several people close to me, friends, a family member, and colleagues, fell to their vice of substance abuse. A couple died from their addictions. Quitting cold turkey is the only way out from what I’ve seen. And it may take a couple of tries, but eventually, it can work. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling with substance addiction and tried to quit but failed. Today is a new opportunity to try again.
Karmic Debt: Watson is big on this one. You can’t get away with doing bad shit. Period. Your decisions shape you, and bad ones will haunt you, inevitably rearing their ugly head with sometimes devastating consequences.
Live from a place of optimism, service, and consciousness, and regrets will disappear.
Take the next step, right now: Getting a phone in prison is challenging, let alone starting an Instagram account. But Watson knew he had to start getting his message out there while serving time. He knew it wasn’t enough to wait until his time was up in prison before he started building his online profile. Plus, there’s public intrigue in prison life. It’s dangerous, and that sparks people’s curiosity.
So, Watson started posting novel imagery of himself in prison, often documenting his insane workouts and newfound philosophies on life. Once he got out, he had already built up a large following and was a multi-millionaire within three years of leaving jail.
The short time it took from being released to millionaire entrepreneur happened because Wes didn’t wait for the ‘right time’ to start. He took the next step while being locked in a box.
Watson turned being a prisoner in California into an entrepreneurial opportunity. What’s your excuse for not starting right now?