Total Focus

Lesson 2/10 - Focus


Total Focus


Lesson Info


One of my favorite quotes, it's a Russian proverb. Chase two rabbits, both will escape. Anyone relate to that, yeah. So my, my personal story of focus was before, I was, I give you guys the quick, well maybe it wasn't quick but my introduction about how I transitioned to business but there was a period in there before I took that job opportunity to kind of rebuild my savings and get back on my feet, where I was just all over the place. This was at a time when, as a SEAL, guys with my experience did 20, 25, 30 years. They weren't out, so I was highly marketable. I had people coming at me from all over the place. We want you to do this, we want you to come be on this board, start this company with us, and I actually was on, I think one time I had three different companies going, I had equity in these. I was on the board of this company. I was teaching shooting lessons, and I was just all over the place. And I remember this guy, I don't even know how, this guy Todd Dackerman, he ran a Por...

sche dismantler business in LA, it was an amazing business. Buying wrecked Porsche's for thousands of dollars and part them out for half a million. That's a pretty good business. And he's like, you're the sniper course manager, I'm learning long gun shooting, come up and teach me, and I was just over it. I didn't want to, it was the last thing I wanted to do was go sit down the range and shoot with this guy, so I just said, I threw out, I think it was $1000 a hour, I said I'll do it for $1000 a hour, and you're gonna pay my travel, $500 a hour, and I thought I was gonna get rid of him, not a chance. He's like, show up next Friday so, here I am driving up to LA and I spend a couple of weekends with Todd getting to know him, and I remember, it's just like these moments that we have in life, you don't know these experiences where we have these moments of clarity and he sat me down, I think the second or third weekend, and he said wow, and we were learning about each other, and he said well tell me what you got going on. And I was telling him all this crazy stuff, and he said wow, you sound like I did before I started my business today. I was all over the place. And I just never, I think he explained it like watering a garden, he had this big garden, and he's like I'm watering these plants and I'm running down there, and I'm paying attention to these ones and by the time I get back, these ones are already like withered up and dying and it's just like impossible, nothing is happening. He's like you should really focus, you should focus, think about what you're really passionate about and focus on that, he's like once you do that, you'll probably start having success. It happened to me and I was the same way, is what he was telling me and, it just hit me like a brick wall, he's absolutely right. And so it was for me that was the time when I said enough, and I just started saying no. A good friend of mine James Altchure has a great book called The Power of No, and it's just being able to say no to opportunities, is what it boils down to. So that was my aha moment with focus. This part is in the book, but it has to do with a lot of what I learned in the SEAL sniper program with the positive psychology. We have to win first in our mind, and it's the power of positive thinking. I talked about this 30 to zero. So we used to fail 30% of the students, and once we changed, we started graduating everybody. We took it down to zero, and really, I'm gonna talk about the three most important things that apply to us is, self talk is huge. Like how we talk to ourselves. How we talk to our teammates, whether you're a business owner, a manager, working somewhere, how we talk to each other makes such a big difference. And i remember listening the first time this was explained to me, the guy we consulted with Lanny Bassham, he used to coach the men's Olympic swim team, or he didn't coach the team, they brought him in to talk, one of the coaches brought him in to talk to the team, and he says what's the first thing you guys do after a big competition, whether it's for the Olympic trials or whatever, and then he was like we talk about all the things we're doing wrong and he's like oh my God, stop right now. The problem with that is when you're talking about the stakes in a group setting, and it's really focusing on what's going wrong right. And I'm not saying acknowledge what's going wrong, and create a solution, the problem is people get so focused on everything going wrong, it's all they can talk about and when you're in a group, and these guys were the men's Olympic swim team obviously incredibly gifted athletes, but what they were doing was they were adopting each others mistakes. This guy was picking up what this guy was doing wrong and then he started having those problems, and they were like sharing this pool of, pun intended, of mistakes and it was just like impacting that group. He's like you guys need to stop that right away. And as it applied to how we were teaching at the time, we would get the sniper students, we would set them up, we would teach a class, we would set them on the shooting line, and they're shooting these far shots, out past a mile and we were start pointing out all the mistakes, and what we realized after talking to Lanny was we were programming them, unless they could deal with it themselves and figure it out, we were programming them for failure. And so we had to adopt a positive style of teaching. And the reason that's important is we started telling them the correct things to do. So I would see somebody doing, maybe he's flinching on the trigger, rather than tell him he's flinching, I would say hey, I would reinforce what to do right. Say look, apply your finger on the trigger this way, mechanize a smooth break, the other example I would give is if you're, how many people played sports in here? By a show of hands. Okay a few so if you're coaching a softball team, and a 12 year old girl is about to go up to bat, and you say, Sarah don't strike out, what's that poor little girl thinking about? Oh my God, you just planted it in her head, and that's what it's like, that is exactly what it's like, it's simple, but when you do that repetitively, it does damage. I see it in schools today, coaches, in the workplace, people are so focused on mistakes and pointing out each other mistakes rather than thinking about what are the positive corrections so when we started teaching a positive way over negative, and we taught our students how to talk to themselves. We said, if you're struggling with your internal issues, you have to figure out what those issues are, and start talking to yourself in a positive way, and leave that stuff behind, and we hear that show up in multiple forms, right? People could call that a mantra. I'm gonna write a mantra, I'm going to read it everyday. This is the new me and so, we did that, and we started to see instant results. Like it wasn't a month, a week, it was right away. The other thing is, with the self talk, is mental barriers, we walk around and I hear it all the time, I'm not good at math, I'm only an average golfer, I can't do this, and it's like that is just a self imposed barrier. Because when you think of yourself a certain way, you are going to be that way, like how are you going to be anything else, than if you think of yourself that way? So we had to teach these guys how to just get rid of that as well and, for people that have never, maybe they've never shot a certain score or they've never achieved a certain level of success. We started to teach them of having the ability to achieve a higher level and we'll talk about that in another lesson as well, like developing a habit of that so it's these self imposed barriers. The other thing, visualization. Visualization is such a huge part of just developing a habit of practicing perfect whether people you can apply it to public speaking, sports, you name it. Visualization is so powerful because you can rehearse in your head, you can close your eyes, you can imagine yourself doing something, and your brain doesn't really know the difference. Like I've done these studies and the brain activity is the same as when you're actually doing it, as when you're imagining yourself doing it. I'll tell a quick story on visualization that I'm going to steal from my good friend Lanny, who wrote a book, you guys wanna write this down, it's called With Winning in Mind, that's Lanny's mental management program. It's an excellent book. Lanny told us a story about Vietnam pilot who was shot down and was a prisoner of war for over four years and, I think this guys name was Captain Jack Sands so, he's in this terrible environment in Vietnam, four years, living in a concrete box, tortured every day, and his hobby was golfing. So he would just play golf in his head for four years, that was his happy place, we all have our happy places, but that's where his was. And, the war ends, and he comes home, they fly into Balboa, or fly into San Diego, North Island to drive to Balboa, and he's in terrible shape. He's with this group of released POW's, the prisoners of war, and they're driving in the ambulance, past the golf course in the back eight, and he loses it, he's banging on the door. He's like stop the ambulance, let me out of here, I got to play golf! And they're looking at him like you're crazy man, you're six foot tall, you like weigh barely 100 pounds, what are you thinking? He's like, let me out of here. So he goes to the clubhouse, they think a homeless person has just walked in, they try to get rid of him, until he tells them who he is and they're like, the guys are crying. They take him to the pro shop, and deck him out, and he says I just want to shoot, whatever it was I think it was nine holes. I just wanna shoot nine holes, and then I can go to the hospital and carry on. And he shoots nine holes, and he shoots a par score. Having not picked up a golf club in over four years, and in like terrible, the worst shape of his life, arguably. And these guys are stunned, they're like how is this possible? And he says, I haven't hit a bad shot in four years, I've been playing perfect golf in my head. And that to me just this amazing story and so we started as instructors, we started telling the students, because they always ask us, what's a good score on the shooting exam? And we have these incredibly hard tests, wind conditions, out past a mile, and as instructors we know, and we would break the students into these little mentor groups, with the instructors, and they're always asking us, what should I be shooting on this test? And what can I expect? And we would before, we learned this new system, we would say well if you're shooting like 85, in the 90s, you're good, you're safe. And so when we learned this new system, we said well shoot 100, that's what we expect, perfection. And when we said that, they started shooting perfect. And we have never had anyone shoot perfect scores so, the importance of visualization I can't emphasize enough. A big part of that, which we'll get to, too is, we've all, who has heard, if you don't write something down, the chance of it happening, are pretty low so, that was also apart of this. We would teach our students to write down what they want to accomplish as well and, I feel like I'm beating a dead horse with that but I can't emphasize it enough. You have to write it down, you have to tell people about it, the more you talk about it, tell people, write it down, the more chance of whatever your goal is is coming to fruition will happen. When you really write that stuff down, and we're going to get to that stuff at the end of the lesson, you really it gives you a plan, and when you start getting these opportunities, it allows you to check the plan against the opportunity and you can tell right away whether or not there's a lineman or not, so we'll talk about that as well coming up. Communicate effectively and ask questions. This is kind of getting into, I don't care if you're a leader, a business owner, a freelancer, the importance of being able to communicate anything effectively, I see so many people that get intimidated because they're hearing acronyms or they're hearing stuff and they think, oh I'm not smart enough, I should know this and their afraid to ask, it's one of the reasons I see so many people in finance. They take advantage of that tiny vocabulary and investing like this poor doctor's money, in something he probably shouldn't be investing in. It's because people even up to the doctor level, are afraid to ask, they're afraid to say I don't understand that. The piece I wanted to focus on also is, has anyone heard of a plot mountain? No, okay so, they use it in writings, screenplays. Climax? Yeah, yeah! Oh so build an arc? Yes, yeah an arc. It's one of the most, I took this two year, non traditional business school in one of the most important things I took away was this, they focused on when you're, when you're communicating to somebody, whether it's, especially in the form of offers, your own life plan, it's to have a complete narrative. And I just, I touch on in the book, and I pull it out for this section because, I'm talking about communication. I see so many people, whether it's emails, proposals, they're missing some element of the plot mountain. And what a plot mountain is you have, the background, so there's the background building, and think of this as a movie, right, or a story. You always have to at some point, build that background with whoever is being communicated to. There's always some type of conflict, right? The conflict that's being dealt with. And then you have this rising action, and then you have the resolution, denouement. And if any, you can think about it as a story. If you pull out any one of those, if you pull out the background, and you try to tell that story, or communicate a plan to somebody, whether you're talking to your peers, you're leading a team, whatever, any element of that is missing you have an incomplete narrative and I think that's so important whether you're telling a story through film, whether you're, when I'm planning, I just finished my bi-annual team meeting, and I was communicating what the rest of the year is going to look like, and I check that, I use the plot mountain to check okay, am I hitting on all those things? Because you know in the storytelling the rising action is actually what are we gonna do to get to the resolution and the denouement, so I think it's worth hitting on. That's something that's been really important personally. Who in here wants to be financially independent? Okay, I have everybody saying yes, I'll raise my hand, too. So, the next question is, do you guys know what that number is? Like what number equals financial independence? Does anybody know their number? One person, do you mind sharing with the group? The exact number? This is the uncomfortable part. Okay, annually, $120,000. Okay. So annually, $120,000, and so how I would think of that is, the financial independence part would be, what do you have to have invested, in whatever form, to produce $120,000 in annual income? And that's a big number, and that's how I think about it because that's, I hear people all the time say, and that's a great, I'm glad that you know that, because a lot of people don't. And I hear people all the time, I wanna be rich. Even my small son, he's obsessed with basketball, I'm gonna be rich, I'm gonna play in the NBA. And I'm like, oh my God, you don't even know what rich is, and most adults don't know what that is and so, this is a homework exercise for you guys, and for everyone tuning in, think about as an exercise, go home tonight, and write down a budget for a year that covers your ideal lifestyle for the year. So, what I mean is, I want to take two vacations. I want a second home somewhere, and I know that home's gonna cost so much. I wanna eat out four nights a week, I wanna have a housekeeper, I want, even a private chef, skip the super yacht stuff, but don't hold back like, say this would be my perfect life, and write it out, and what you'll find is that, just like time is finite, there is only so much you can spend in a year. I did this exercise with about 100 people during this business course I took, and we all came within the 10s of thousands of each other, and the number that averaged out was about $400,000. Like that was, housekeeper, maybe chef, second home, two vacations, eating out, and when you do the math to produce that kind of passive income, it's a big number, it's about 10 million dollars, if you just average it out like, a 10% average return without drawing down on the principal, it's about 10 million, and then people go, well I can get by with half of that right, I can do 250. Well that's five million, and half of it again, and we're where you're at, and now you're at two and a half million is what you need to have, that's your number, that's gonna produce that kind of financial freedom that you desire and the reason I think that's so important and I hear people all the time say well, money is not everything and, look to a degree I will agree with that, but to say that money isn't important is total bullshit, because the reality is, to be real, the people with not enough money especially in America, they don't get the best food, they don't get the best healthcare, and they die early and sometimes they die young, and that is just the cold hard facts of life. And that's, as sad as that is, it's the world we live in today and, it's important that we really get clear with what those numbers are because I'm a parent, I have a great relationship with my kid's mom, we talk about money in a very practical way, I would be devastated if one of my children got sick and I didn't have enough money to provide them the absolute best healthcare on the planet. Yes. Can you talk a little bit more about how you get from the 10 million to the 400,000? Yes, so if you think of 10 million invested in the stock market, producing an average of a 10%, on average, which is historically what the stock market returns, that's how you get to that number. And there's other ways to solve for it right? But, that's just the basic simple example of that number and when I first heard it, i was shocked. I was like 10 million bucks, I made a lot of money when I was an executive at that defense company I had to work for and try saving, try saving to two million dollars, on high six figure income, after taxes are pulled out and all that stuff so then you start thinking, okay what situation do I have to put myself in to produce that kind of income? Maybe it's I invest in real estate on the side and grow it that way, maybe I buy a business, I start a business, when you look at, the reason I'm a fan of business in general, besides growing up in a crazy entrepreneurial family, is that I realize, when you look at the way the wealth is divided in the world, over 50% of the top 1%, are business owners. And there's like a fraction that are like doctors, professional athletes, celebrities. Celebrities are like .05% and, I had to sit down and show this graph to my 10 year old and like look, this is the reality. But just the importance of at least knowing that puts yourself in a different mindset and you can start thinking about money a little bit differently because the people that say money isn't everything, they don't have money and that's why they say it. As an excuse in most cases in my experience. So, I think that's really, that's something I talk about in the book total focus and it's something I wanted to share with you guys because I think it's just so important that we, because it's an uncomfortable thing to talk about, like nobody wants to talk about how much they have in their checking account, or savings account but at least you know kind of if you have that 120 number, now you can kind of go okay, how do I set myself up for that so I can live off that, when I wanna travel the world and not just do whatever I want to do. People will, a common argument back, why I'm just gonna work I make good money and I'm just gonna keep working well, that's great, as long as you're healthy. What if your, you factor in your parents, some type of life situation where you get sick and you can't work, that's where it's a problem, right? And then you're in a situation where okay now what? I can't work, I have health issues, or something I have this, my mom got sick I got to take care of her and deploy all this money and so that's where it gets important to think about that for the future. I try and give you guys for this class, at the end of each lesson I give a recommended reading, and this is, it's a book called Becoming your Best, and it's a great, probably one of the better, goal setting books that I've read, and I've actually took a class by one of the authors, instructors, because he runs a training program for companies. I'm in two groups right now, the entrepreneurs organization, the global group of I think 16,000 entrepreneurs, NYPO, the young presidents organization, but we go on these retreats in bring in experts. This guy is good, one of the better books I've read, and a lot of what we're gonna talk about at the end, I've taken and adopted from this book, so I think it's a great book.

Class Description

Have you ever had a hard time reaching your career goals? Sometimes we come up short because we don’t know how to prioritize, stay composed amidst the chaos and make the right choices under pressure.

But what if you could do your job or run your business with the laser focus, precision and decisiveness of a Navy SEAL?

Brandon Webb, former Navy SEAL, successful entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of “Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure,” believes that the same qualities that allowed him to stare down terrorists have helped him create a multimillion dollar company.

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Avoid distractions that take you away from your goal.
  • Pursue the right opportunity and see it through to completion.
  • Build an action plan to achieve your objectives.
  • Increase your self-esteem and get rid of self-doubt.
  • Overcome hesitancy and indecisiveness by moving forward with an imperfect plan.
  • Embrace the suck and refuse to quit.
  • Recognize that unexpected challenges may reveal your best shot at success.



I had the pleasure of being in the live audience for this course, SO much content, I actually got the book as well and took lots of notes. With Brandon there is no fluff, it's all real actionable steps and strategies to get you focused in very specific ways. we talked about goal setting, team work, vision statement, and that's just a taste, there are so many different categories that we got into. I'll have to go and study my copious notes.. I'm glad CreativeLive added a course on FOCUS! Man I need it as a small business owner it's so helpful to have an expert help me Focus! Brandon was a high level Navy Seal but he's really down to earth, funny, smart and packed this course with massive content. Thanks Brandon