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Sean Whalen – Lions Not Sheep: Entrepreneurship, Finding Purpose, & Living Boldly

Sean Whalen is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and the founder of Lions Not Sheep, a brand and movement aimed at empowering individuals to live authentic and courageous lives. Whalen gained popularity through his motivational videos and social media presence, where he shares insights about personal development, mindset, and taking control of one’s life. The ‘Lions Not Sheep’ community emphasizes the importance of breaking free from societal norms and expectations, encouraging people to embrace their true selves and live boldly.  On this episode we discussed the following topics:

  • Big Vision
  • Why I Vibe with Steve Jobs
  • Show Me A Millionaire & I Will Show You Someone Who Got Their A** Kicked!
  • Pitching Donald Trump 
  • Simplicity Is the Best Path
  • The Best Advice I Ever Received
  • The Highest Frequency Is ‘Authenticity’
  • We Were Programmed to Lie
  • I Did Something on Social Media I Never Did Before  
  • The Two Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned
  • Lions Not Sheep
  • Core Principles of Lions Not Sheep 
  • How Do You Live?
  • Sacrifices
  • The Qualities of An Effective Leader 
  • What It Takes to Be A ‘Man of Honor’
  • The Importance of a Daily Gratitude Ritual 
  • “Ikigai”
  • What Is Your Purpose?

Every week, the RUN GPG Podcast aims to provide inspirational stories from people who made a mark in entrepreneurship, entertainment, personal development, and the real estate industry. It is produced by the GREATER PROPERTY GROUP to help the audience grow and scale their business and their life.

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Sean Whalen is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and the founder of Lions Not Sheep, a brand and movement aimed at empowering individuals to live authentic and courageous lives. Waylon gained popularity through his motivational videos and social media presence, where he shares insights about personal development, mindset, and taking control of one’s life.

The Lions not sheep community emphasizes the importance of breaking free from societal norms and expectations, encouraging people to embrace their true selves and live boldly. Looking forward to talking about all that and a few other topics with the one and only Sean Waylon. Sean, it’s a pleasure.

Welcome to the Run GPG podcast. Great to be here. That’s a great, great intro. I like that intro. Well done. Thanks. Uh, you know, quite honestly, you know, I’ve seen what you’ve been doing on social media. I was mentioning that, uh, before we started recording there, um, and all that you’re doing with your coaching program or your, your Lions not sheep community, I guess.

And I think you’re someone who’s become, uh, popular and notable, uh, especially on social media for speaking that no nonsense, um, message. And because of that, you also created that brand that we were talking about in a community. And it’s got a very motivational message that stresses as we said, you know, leading a life of purpose and fulfillment, uh, which is a great message, um, for everyone.

So we’re curious about the Genesis and the evolution of that movement. But before we get into some specifics, I think it would be really good to get some context for our discussion. You know, I heard some surprising, um, details about your life before we started recording, but where are you from? Where did you grow up?

And then the ultimate question is how did your early life shape your. Current perspective on the world because you’re someone who’s pretty vocal. Dude, how long do you have for this podcast, bro? That’s a, you just asked, uh, the entire biography. I grew up back east. I grew up in, uh, Washington, DC between there and New York City.

I was always a hustler. I was always like the kid I, I’d, I’d go hustle my neighbors to mow their grass. They’d gimme five bucks. I’d pay my friends, you know, two or three bucks to do it. I’d keep the rest. And, uh, we all had money when the ice cream man rolled around, you know what I mean? So I’ve always been that wild entrepreneurial guy.

Um, I had a real job, uh, until my early twenties, I got fired from my real job at 22 years old and I have never looked back. So for the last 22 years, I’ve been self employed and running my own companies and my own businesses. Um, I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon. My, I grew up in a single parent home.

My parents divorced when I was young. And so, you know, I watched my mom struggle. I watched my mom, uh, work two jobs and really like. You know, bust your ass to be able to provide a good life for my brother and I. And, uh, that was definitely etched in my mind that I did not want to be in that reality, you know, in my life.

And so, you know, I’m blessed today to be able to take care of my mom and, and, you know, have her enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, uh, through what I’ve done. So I definitely think that, uh, You know, you, you, you get to pick what you want to do with experiences, right? You can either Harbor on it and go, my parents split up.

My dad was told blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m going to be sad and mad my whole life. I’d be like, no, that dude gave me a great example of how not to be, you know what I’m saying? So I’m going to go the opposite way. And I got five kids and I’m going to be a great dad. I’m going to be a present dad. I’m gonna make a ton of money so that I can help people and, you know, build a, build a great life.

So I definitely think that, uh, In two or three minutes, you know, encapsulating, you know, 44 years. That’s, it’s a good, uh, it’s a good hedge way into, into a good conversation. 100 percent Yeah, it’s always a tough one to, you know, put on the spot like that. But, you know, like our early experiences do shape, you know, our perspective on, uh, you know, what we’re doing these days.

And especially for entrepreneurs, it’s always nice to hear, you know, the backstory you did touch on entrepreneurship or, and I do want to talk about lions, not sheep in a moment here, uh, specifically, but first I just want you to share your story, your entrepreneurial journey, if you could, what inspired you to start your own business kind of touched on it, but what, what made you think, okay, well, I, this is.

You know, I got to work for myself here. Where did it begin for you? Um, I got fired from my last real job. I was hired as a sales manager and I was, uh, I worked for the Marriott Corporation for a number of years and I had this vision because I loved people and I loved engaging. I just kind of, I was a really, really, really quiet kid and all of a sudden in high school, I kind of bloomed into this like social butterfly of sorts.

And, uh, and I saw my future being in this experience of like running a hotel and making 150K a year. And that would be like a really, really, really good deal. Um, and I went out for this position of, uh, the sales manager and they didn’t give it to me. They gave it to somebody else, but then they hired me as a, as a sales associate kind of a deal.

And I blew all the, I blew all the records, like all the numbers out of the water kind of a deal. And, uh, long story short, I was essentially saying, Hey, get rid of this person you hired and bring me in because I’m the best there is. And, and, uh, they ended up firing me. And that was the last real job that I had.

I’ll never forget. I drove to a cemetery, not because it was like morbid or whatever, but I just happened to leave. I literally took my box out of my office left and, uh, and drove and I ended up in the cemetery. And I just thought to myself, I’m like, I don’t, I don’t really like being told what to do. Like, I’m really good at what I do.

I know that I can make it. On my own and I had a brand new house and a brand new baby, um, and, and a new marriage. And it was one of those moments where I was like, I’m not going back. Like I’m going to, I’m going to cut my teeth. I’m going to figure out a way to make this work. And I did everything from selling insurance to selling cars.

I mean, all, all of the, all of the things I started multiple different companies that never worked. That didn’t pan out, you know what I mean? I’ve just always been a very, very, very big thinker. And a lot of times that works really well and a lot of times that gets me in trouble because I think a lot bigger than, you know, my pocket can afford or my bank, you know, will lend me kind of a deal.

But I think that’s also a noble attribute because if you look at the people that have done big things, the Steve Jobs of the world, they’ve been labeled crazy their entire life. You know what I’m saying? You look at Elon Musk and damn near every day there’s a headline news story about Elon Musk is stupid and he’s dumb and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I’m like, he’s like the richest dude on the planet. Like you got some dude making 60k a year writing a news report saying that he’s dumb. I’m like, no dummy, you’re, you’re dumb. You know what I’m saying? Shut the up and watch the guy. So I’ve just always been in that mindset. And as the years have gone on, I’ve, I’ve learned, um, I’ve made millions of dollars, I’ve lost millions of dollars.

I’ve been bankrupt, you know, I I’ve had the mansion. And so it’s just been a really interesting experience getting to a place in life now where I’m like, you know, what do I really want? And I’m 44 years old and I’m still asking myself that question. And it’s a beautiful place to be because, you know, there isn’t a rule book to any of this, you know what I’m saying?

Like now we have the gram. I grew up when we had pagers and, uh, you know, we actually had to go to a cell phone. I don’t think, or excuse me, a pay phone. I don’t think my kids, but if I said, what’s a pay phone, they wouldn’t even know, you know what I’m saying? Like, what’s a Blackberry? They’re like, I don’t know, a fruit.

You know what I’m saying? Like they don’t know this. So. I’m old school and nowadays with, with social media and the introduction of cell phones and all this other stuff, it’s, it’s a wild experience out there, but I’ve just chosen to, to cut my own teeth and do my own deal. And, and so far in life, you know, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of stress with that, but at the same time, I live an amazing, an amazing, amazing, amazing life.

And I’m extremely blessed, but I just chose years ago to do it my way. You know what I mean? Like I realized that nobody really has a blueprint for this. Like everybody’s got their own ideas and their own wins and their own stories and s**t. But I’m like. Where’s the, where’s the manual? You know what I’m saying?

And there is no manual. And what I looked at is a lot of the really, really, really wealthy people just wrote their own f**king manual. They just did their own thing. And everybody told him, stop, don’t do it. You’re going to get your ass kicked. You’re going to lose. It’s stupid. And they were like, yeah, go f**k yourself.

And they ended up like literally rewriting history. And so I kind of vibe with those people. Um, you know, Steve Jobs’s biography is a great biography. If you guys like reading and, uh. I very much vibe with that guy because there’s funny stories in there how he used to come into work and he’d people like he’d fly off the handle he’d throw s I mean I don’t throw s in my office but like he was a nut job.

Yeah. But it’s really fascinating because the people that work for him were like Dude, we knew that he was a genius and we knew that he would, he would literally die before he quit. And I vibe with that, you know, and, and, and I think that, uh, nowadays there’s a lot of people that are scared to go out there and cut their own teeth and paint their own way, which is really sad because at some point in time, you’re not going to have that ability or that option.

You know what I mean? So I don’t care if you’re 50, go out there, f**k some up, lose some money, make some money, figure out what you like doing. And you know, ultimately at the end of the day, like if you’re happy, God bless you. Yeah. Um, a couple of things there. First of all, thank you very much for your, uh, frank breakdown, right?

Of your, your entrepreneurial journey. Uh, very candid. So I appreciate that. Secondly, we had a long conversation with, uh, Patrick bed, David actually about, um, Steve jobs specifically. He was actually an entrepreneur. He got fired from his own company. Yeah. It’s fascinating because he was at Apple. They fired him and board booted him out.

And then he started square, which ended up in a. Complete disaster, lost almost all the money that he made. And then ultimately like they had to bring him back, you know what I’m saying? And, you know, it’s, it’s just interesting because I mean, us nowadays, we don’t, we don’t realize this. We don’t realize that like.

In order to get to the top, in order to be something, in order to build something big, you’re gonna have to get your ass kicked. It’s just par for the course. Show me a millionaire, I’ll show you somebody who’s gotten their ass kicked. Show me a billionaire, I’ll show you somebody who’s gotten their ass kicked for a long time.

You know what I’m saying? So, I think once you get that in your mindset and you’re like, okay, yeah, I’m good. I can, I can fight my way through this. After the stuff gets really fun. Yeah, no, absolutely. The other thing that was interesting was, you know, you were referencing sales. I find a lot of very successful entrepreneurs.

They do have a sales background. I was going to ask you about maybe a pivotal moment in your entrepreneurial journey, but it sounds like it was that point where you got fired. You ended up in the uh, at the uh, cemetery. Would you call that the pivotal moment in your entrepreneurial journey? No. You know, there’s been so many of them.

I will say this though. Um, one of the most memorable experiences that I had was in my late 20s and I was buying a golf, I was building a golf course. I was buying 1200 acres down in Southern Utah. And, uh, literally, I mean, I’m in my late 20s, man. And I had like giant f ing huevos. Like I had giant ball. I couldn’t lose.

I was just like, and so I wanted, I wanted. A development partner, because this was a 250 million development, da, da, da, da, the whole thing. So I, I literally got Jack Nicklaus to come out and look at the ground with me. I’m literally like 28, 27 at the time, um, loved it, designed two golf courses for us. And then, uh, I was like, I want a development partner.

I was like, I want to, I want to, I want to work with Trump. And my mindset was all of the Vegas guys, this is kind of right when he was building his tower, um, or building his hotel, all of the Vegas guys would go to Lake Las Vegas for their golf courses. Cause that’s where all the nice golf courses were, but it was actually a shorter helicopter ride from the Trump tower to my ground in Southern Utah.

And so the pitch was that. And I, you know, I’ve got all of the receipts, as people say, to, you know, back this whole thing up. I don’t talk about it a lot, but, um, I found a guy who connected me, um, with, uh, the Trump family. And it was a fascinating experience, because I had prepared this whole deal, and I had a meeting set up, um, in New York.

And we flew out there to go meet with them, and I’ll never forget, as long as I live, I sat down with this guy. Who is a very like sophisticated investor and he’s like, what are you going to pitch him? And I had this binder with all of our stuff and our renderings and our things and the whole thing and he’s like, dude, you’re, you’re out of your mind.

He won’t look at any of that. And he’s like, you need one page, one page. And I was like, Oh, I’m pitching him this 250 million development, all this other stuff. And I literally drew, drew the entire thing down into one page. And the, and the funny thing is, is he never even looked at the one page. I’m sitting in Trump’s office in New York City, pitching him this real estate deal and hand him this one page and he kind of does one of those and he sets it down.

Well, two hours later, you know, Ivanka comes in and the whole thing and we ended up, uh, you know, striking a deal and, and he came out and looked at the ground and we were going to build this huge thing together and then the market crashed. So I say that, I say that simply because. If I think back to the pivotal things that have really shaped me, it’s, that was one of those meetings where I realized like the complexity is not always the reality.

That’s not always the best path. Simplicity is the best path. And you ask anybody in business, anybody who’s doing big things, they’ll tell you the same thing. We don’t want more complexity and more craziness. We want simplicity. You know what I mean? A simple sales process, a simple sales team, a simple directive, a simple pitch, a simple product.

Uh, and that’s something that I think has helped me a lot because every time I found myself in trouble. It’s because I’m trying to do too much. I’m going way too complex. And so, you know, from a pivotal standpoint, that as I’m thinking about it is one of the more pivotal moments for me in my, in my business career.

That’s fascinating. And I want all of our listeners and subscribers to just take a moment and think about what Sean said there. At our company, you know, we talk about adapting sales pitches to personality types, right? So Trump is a guy, he wants a napkin version. You better not confuse them with all the details.

Get to the point, uh, be punchy about it. You know, talk about the benefits immediately. Put it on one page, like you said. You know, if you’re pitching to somebody else who needs the details, then adapt, right? But, what a valuable learning lesson. Oh, it was huge for me, man. Number one, because I had the balls to do it, right?

I think back on that and I kind of chuckle and I laugh. And, uh, it’s just funny to me. But, the flip side of that is like, You know, if you don’t have the audacity to go out and do something, you’re never going to do anything. Right. But I definitely learned a lesson in that is, and I think back over the last 20 years or so, the hardest parts for me, like the most complicated parts of my business career have been when I’ve created more complexity and really it’s way more fun, like streamlining and making things really, really, really simple.

So for me, that was a, that was a huge, huge, huge lesson for me. Man, incredible. Thank you for breaking that down. Um, here’s a question. Uh, do you remember the best business advice you ever received? The best advice that I’ve ever been given was from my mom. And this transcends everything. This transcends life, relationships, marriage, business, the whole thing.

Remember who you are. She used to tell me that every day before I left for school and it’s in the rings in my head every single day. I just I just hear it over and over and over my head. Remember who you are. And I think that That’s a very, very powerful aspect of business is a lot of people are trying to be somebody that they’re not, you know, you talk about lions, not sheep.

And how did we grow? And how do I have over a billion views in my videos? I don’t have, I have literally over a billion views with a, with a cell phone, right? Just iPhone videos. How, why? I think it’s just because I got to a place where, well, let me rephrase that. I know it’s because I got to a place where I just didn’t give a anymore.

I like quit lying. I quit pretending. I quit trying to be like everybody else. And I just started to be Sean Wayland. And it was a really pivotal moment for me because it’s the easiest place to be is be yourself. It’s the most fun place to be. It’s also the most lucrative place to be. So I think the best business advice that I’ve ever been given was remember who you are.

It’s funny you mentioned the best advice you received was, you know, be yourself. We’re finding out this is really interesting. I’m, you know, uh, I’m really paying attention to, you know, frequency, vibration, this type of stuff, you know, when people talk about manifestation, you know, visualization, what they’re discovering now is the highest frequency that you can emit as a human is the frequency of.

Well, gratitude is important. Those are very high frequencies and love, etc. The highest frequency that you can like actually generate as a human is authenticity. Authenticity. They’re actually, yeah, science is catching up to that. So there’s so much like, like Value in, in the advice to stay authentic, be true to yourself and look what, look what happens, right?

You become Sean Whalen and you know, you’re getting a billion views, right? You know, so I, I don’t know why it happens, you know, around 40, Sean. It just seems to happen around 40 for a lot of us, you know, um, very interesting. Yeah, I think a lot of guys, you know, there’s two things with that. Number one, that word, it drives me nuts because it’s so misconstrued authenticity.

Right. But really think about it. Like, I was 30 years old. I was a self made multimillionaire. I had all the cars, the houses, the whole thing. And I burned my life to the ground. I literally like had a midlife crisis where I left everything. I left my marriage. I left my business. I stuck my head on my ass for two years, just trying to figure out why I was even alive.

Not like how to make my next million, but it was like, why the f k am I on this rock? There’s this rock that’s flying through the cosmos. Like, why am I here? Not part of this culture. Like, why is Sean Whalen on this rock? You know? And, and I realized most of my life I was lying. And, and, and we were programmed that way.

I mean, if you really think about it, I don’t care if you’re in Canada, I met me, you know, us, it doesn’t matter. Like we were programmed to lie. And a lot of people don’t understand this. They don’t think about this because you think your parents are bad. Your parents weren’t bad. Your parents did the best that they could with what they knew.

Right. But ever since you were a little kid, you’ve been programmed to lie. You know, don’t say anything that’s going to piss anybody off. You know, if you got to go to the bathroom, raise your hand. You got to get permission. Like you’re programmed as a little child to do as you’re told. You know what I’m saying?

Here’s what’s good. Here’s what’s bad. If you were raised in a religious environment, if you do these things, you go to heaven. If you do these things, you’re going to go to hell. So you’re, as a little kid, you’re kind of like walking on eggshells going, s**t, I don’t want to make anybody mad. I don’t want to say anything that’s going to piss anybody off.

Oh, but I have huge dreams. I want to go be an astronaut, but dad says I got to go to college and get a real job. So I’m just going to do that, right? And here’s an entire culture of people. that have been told since they were little kids to dream and to go big and to live this life. But the reality is you’re watching your parents hate their life, hate who they are and lie.

And so we just turn into liars. How you feeling? I’m feeling good. And the next thing you know, your neighbor blows his brains out and you’re like, what the Bob just told me yesterday he was good. Well, Bob didn’t know how to tell you the truth because we don’t do that. If you ask your friends, how you doing?

Like, oh, I’m good, man. And then all of a sudden you find out he’s getting a divorce or he’s over here because we don’t know how to tell the truth. And this is really like, uh, this has been a pivotal thing for me and for the movement of lions, not sheep. And I think the movement, when you talk authenticity, that light bulb went on in my head because I shared about 10 years ago, a post that went viral is the very first post that everyone viral.

And along the story of it is I did something on social media that I had never done before. I told the truth. I sat down one night. And I literally just wrote out this post and I just stopped lying. And I talked about my divorce and I talked about my bankruptcy and I talked about the depression and I talked about how angry I was and I talked about how sad I was and how pissed off I was.

And I didn’t blame anybody. It was the first time where I was just like, here’s my truth. I’m angry. I have anger issues. I’m sad. I have darkness. I’ve, I’ve been suicidal and it went viral. This isn’t like the pretty story and look at my face and look at how awesome we are and look at our kids at Disneyland.

Like this is darkness. This is like, but I learned two things in this month and through this experience. And for the last 10 years, this has been my journey. Number one, I realized that. So many people were attracted to it because it was real. You’re normally used to these dudes like, here’s the perfect lighting and the perfect flex and the perfect angle and the perfect thing and all of my growth numbers, none of my down numbers, and you’re just so accustomed to that that people don’t vibe with it anymore.

And then all of a sudden somebody comes along and smacks you in the face with some real sh and you’re like, what the f was that? Like that’s that alpha guy talking about he’s depressed and he’s suicidal. What the right. And so people resonated with it because guess what? Everybody’s dealing with it.

Everybody’s trying to figure out life. Everybody’s got kids and depression and there’s not a single person listening to this podcast that doesn’t have dark days, no one, but there’s two types of people, one who tells the truth. And the other one who says that they don’t have it, that’s just really the simple reality of it.

So that was the first lesson for me is like. Millions of people resonated with my real. I was like, well, okay, well I’ll just keep doing that. And then the second thing that I learned from this post, which has really led to this entire movement led to everything was I realized I felt better. Like all of us want to feel better, right?

Some of us sedate, some of us do drugs, some of us drink, whatever, whatever. Some of us go make a bunch of money, but everybody wants to feel better. We just go about it different ways. And so I realized like, well, if me sharing my real authenticity, my darkness, call it whatever you want. Led to millions of people watching me and led to me feeling better.

Then I’ll just go ahead and keep doing that. And so literally I just, it became my quest of like, I didn’t filter anything. It’s fascinating how people gravitate towards that because there’s so little of it in the marketplace. And so as I work with people and my clients and thousands of people, I coach around the world, I’m like, give people real s**t.

That’s what they’re starving for. Like, well, Sean, it’s going to hurt my business. Like, no, it’s going to blow your business up. That’s what you don’t understand. And so it’s a fascinating experience to watch people wrestle with this idea. Like I really want to be liked and loved by everybody for being a liar.

When the reality is you’re going to be liked and loved for being real. You’re going to make more money and you’re going to feel better. What a fascinating breakdown. Um, you know, I, I do appreciate that because like you said, you know, you’re, you’re pretty outspoken guy. Uh, you’re seen as, you know, an alpha, very strong, strong willed dude, right?

Successful. And when you speak about your vices, your depressions, your sadness, your failures, it resonates with people because they’re afraid to say it. So when you say something out loud, you know, yeah. It resonates. That’s why it makes such an impact. Yeah. And I think it’s, I think it’s refreshing to see guys like, uh, yourself.

Uh, we have again, a long conversation with Andy for sell about this. Cause he went through a really dark period. Well, you know, he’s been very open about it and I really appreciated him. We did a large segment on that and I thought it was really, uh, helpful. It was refreshing and it was, it was just something just, you know, there’s one thing to be, you know, have a testosterone driven message about being a man, Also, let’s be real about it.

It’s okay to feel, you know, have ups and downs it’s working through those. And however you do that, what you did was probably cathartic in a way, but it also benefited a lot of people. Yeah. Let’s get into lions, not sheep. Now, this is what I really want to talk to you about. It’s incredible. It’s a large movement now, how and when the idea of lines, not sheep come to you.

What was the inspiration behind this, this movement and this brand? So Lions Eye Sheep came to me during this darkness, during this period. It wasn’t a clothing company, it wasn’t a coaching thing, I was still flipping real estate, you know, doing my deal. And it came to me one day, and it just wouldn’t leave.

And I just, I kept seeing it and visualizing it, and it took on a life for me. It became a mantra for me. And I realized that I had lived 35 years, 36 years of my life as a sheep. I did what I was told to do, I said what I was, you know, told to say. And I hated it. I hated who I was, I hated where I was, and I realized that, you know, I had two options.

To be a lion or to be a sheep. People ask me, what does Lions not sheep mean? And I’m like, what do you think it means? They’re like, to be a lion, not a sheep. I’m like, bingo. It’s literally that simple because these two creatures go about life very differently. A lion lays under a tree and does whatever the f k he wants.

Where a sheep is like, always just in this scared pack and, you know, one little spook and they all run over here and over there and whatever, whatever. And so I realized that I had lived most of my life is that reality. And so it became this personal mantra for me. And, and a while later I called one of my buddies who owns a t shirt company.

I was like, you want to make this into a t shirt, right? I’m not trying to start an apparel company. It wasn’t even on my radar. I just had this vision to just put it on a sheet. And those, the three, the three words that you see, Lions not sheep. He’s like, all right, go to, go to, uh, fonts. com, pick out a font, send me the font and we’ll put it on a t shirt.

I went, I picked out the font that you see now. And sent it to him and made a t shirt and I only made one t shirt and I just wore it. It just kind of became my thing. And, and like, this is before social media blew up. This is before any of that stuff. It was my own personal reality. And, uh, one day somebody saw it on, on Facebook.

And as obviously Facebook started to blow up for me and social media started to blow up, people started saying, Oh, where’d you get that shirt? Where’d you get that shirt? Like, how do I get that shirt? And I called my buddy, I’m like, people want this shirt. And they’re like, we’ll sell him the shirt. And so literally we just, we created a little portal to his website where it wasn’t even lines of sheep.

com. I didn’t own the domain. I didn’t own any of it. It wasn’t trademarked and people would just go and they’d buy a shirt and he’d give me like three or four bucks for every shirt that we sold. And as it went on and on and on and on, I realized there was something to it. And as my message grew, it was really the pivotal foundation behind the message.

So, you know, 2014, 2015, 2016. 2016, I incorporated it and I just started to see that there was more to this. And so I was like literally coaching people, but I didn’t have a coaching group. I would just spend hours on the phone with people, helping them all day long and showing them what I was doing and these meditations and the books and the things and the whole, and the whole deal.

And, um, as it started to grow, I realized that there was something to it. And so we, we started, you know, our own little Shopify store and started going and growing it a little bit. And I, I officially started coaching people and started a coaching company. Um, as like just literally this little teeny. Idea, you know, and I had good people around me, which was awesome.

They’re like, dude, this is a big thing. Like people are drawn to it. They’re drawn to you. They’re drawn to this message in this quote unquote, authenticity. Give them an opportunity to come participate with you. Cause I looked at coaching like this is dumb. Why would, why would I pay somebody to tell me what to do?

Like I’ve been a self made multimillionaire. What are you going to teach me? I just had a massive ego. And then I started to really understand it and it’s exploded since then. So, you know, in, in 2020, um, I mean, prior to 2020, my mom was basically making all of our gear, like, I think we’d sell like 10 shirts a month, kind of a thing, just organically, people would see me wearing it, whatever, whatever.

We only had one t shirt. The whole thing. And in 2020, we, we officially started the apparel company. Um, and by that, I was like, look, man, we can build something big off of this. And we went from zero, literally like a thousand dollars a month to a million dollars a month in sales within six months. And it’s just like, it’s just exploded and grown.

And, and it’s been a wild, wild, wild experience. But really cool at the same time. Yeah, very cool. You know, it started at the power of words, right? Started as a, as a phrase, and we’ve seen the evolution of it over the years. For those that are unfamiliar, maybe just digging a little deeper on this, the core principles of Lions Not Sheep, can you describe those?

Yeah, so I hired a coach when I was going through my and he taught me what we call now core four, which is power, passion, purpose, production, power, your body, passion, relationships, purpose, your mindset, your spirituality and production, your business. And I was the guy who would literally wake up, drink my coffee and just go smash my day.

Right? I mean, like most dudes, I’m running, running, running, running, going crazy. I get this call in this meeting, this thing. And at the end of the day, you’re like, Oh my God, I’m so tired. What did I get done? Like, I don’t really know. Core four really framed everything for me. It helped me see like, there’s a really simple way to be able to organize, but still accomplish a ton.

Right. And so as they started practicing this and understanding this, this became my foundation and it became literally what I wrote about in my book was core four, which is what I learned from my coach and my coach learned from his coach and his coach learned it from Steve Covey, who, you know, has been talking about four core for 30 something years.

Um, and that became really the foundation of, of the message is core four. And it’s a way of being, it’s not some program like, you know, do you have this program or that program, or how do I get organized or whatever? It’s literally my life. It is how I operate. It’s not a system or a way. It’s literally a way of being.

And that’s what I think is really cool about it and really cool and unique about Lions Not Sheep is, you know, if you want click funnels, you know how to go get click funnels. If you want a website, you know how to get a website and all this other stuff. But how do you live? How do you get rid of the chaos, get rid of the drama, get rid of the sh bags, but grow a big business and still have the family relationship and still be there for the kids?

How do you do all that, right? You want to be an entrepreneur, you just got to beat the s**t out of yourself, drag your ass through glass, and then maybe you’ll retire and you’ll have a bunch of money. It’s like, that’s, that’s dumb. Why do I want to wait till I’m 65 to ride jet skis? I want to ride jet skis now.

My kids are They’re in school now. They’re playing soccer and hockey and football. Now I could miss all that for 20 years to do what? Give them a bunch of money and I’m like running myself ragged. It doesn’t make any sense. And so core four is really at the foundation and the true nature of what Lions not sheep is.

It’s learning to be able to lead your own life. It’s seeing the vision that you’ve got, identifying where you want to go and going there. You know, I always, I’m a big hunter. And I was talking about it like this, like if you were going to go hunt a deer, you know, and you got a deer at 300 yards, if you come up with a 12 gauge and you’re just bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, you’re never going to kill the deer, right?

That’s how I was living my life. I’m a dad, I’m a husband, bang, bang, just trying to shoot all of these things. And at the end of the day, I’m just tired as, I’m not accomplishing anything. And you see this today, this is why more men are killing themselves than ever before. This is why male suicide is an all time high.

This is why kids are totally fine. My family’s are totally because dads are just showing up running themselves ragged, not realizing that’s a stupid plan. And so what I found is like, well, if I want to go hunting, why don’t I just pick up a sniper rifle and just one shot, one kill? So my production, my business, here’s my target.

Bang. I hit it. My, my fitness, you know, how many times have you been to the gym and you see the dude towel over shoulder and he’s like, Oh, he’s just kind of wandering around. And maybe he does three minutes on the elliptical and does a few curls. That dude looks the same year after year after year. He never gets in shape.

I go into the gym and I’m a maniac. I’m only there for 45 minutes, but I, I know every lift, every deal, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, in and out, done. You know what I’m saying? So all these excuses and people like, I got kids, I got, I got kids. I got bills. Like, just cause I’m, I’m super handsome. Doesn’t mean AT& T gave me a free phone.

I got to pay for this. I got to put gas in my car. Just like y’all, you understand what I’m saying? So this idea that somehow it’s this mystical, magical way. No, I figured out a way to do this and it’s called core four and it’s. controlling your life. You understand what I’m saying? That’s what’s at the foundation of what Lions Not Sheep really is.

Well, we could clip that and put that out. And I think everybody listens to that would, uh, would sign up tomorrow, you know, um, but what’s interesting is our age. I mean, you and I are almost the same age, right? We weren’t programmed that way. No, you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s not what we were taught.

We were taught like, and even today, there’s a lot of people that have this misconception that you got to like grind your ass to the ground to make it big. I don’t believe that you got to work hard. You gotta go hard, but dude the idea that you have to sacrifice your marriage, sacrifice your body, sacrifice your children is a f ing lie.

And what I’m seeing is that there’s a lot of men, like you asked a question earlier, you know, 40, 45, 50 years old, that are kind of going, like, I got the house, I got the cars, I got the kids, I got the family, like, we’re like, word, this is it, like, this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my f ing life.

Like I’m gonna keep working for the man, making 227, 000 a year, like grinding my ass to the bone. Like this is it. This is the American dream. No, it’s not. And I think that’s why so many people are waking up and so many people are attracted to lions as sheep and the message. Cause it’s like, look, man, I’m not special.

There’s no silver, I just figured it out. You know what I mean? So for me now, it’s like. It’s really, you know, this, you know, you talk to a lot of high level people and a lot of entrepreneurs, like, look at what a lot of these guys are doing. Look at where a lot of these dudes look at like Grant Cardone, a lot of these other dudes, like they’ll tell you, you got to work your ass hard, but man, if you sacrifice your family, you’re you sacrifice your health and there’s a lot of people that are doing very, very, very well that are teaching that and showing you that.

And I think it’s a really, really, really smart thing for some of these younger, younger pups to listen. f**k up and realize that we’ve been in the trenches maybe 10, 15, 20 years longer than you. We know a little bit. We’ve been around the block a little bit. You know what I’m saying? So take some of the knowledge and the wisdom from the motherf**kers that have been in the game for a bit and do it better than we did it.

You know what I mean? That’s another clip. Sean, no, I’m serious. Did you? That’s the highlight reel. Um, we just actually, we just had grant on again. I think it was third time on the show recently. The guy’s not like, you know, I know he’s kind of a polarizing guy, but I’ve never seen someone market like him.

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Listen but one of the other things to think about too and I mean dude, I don’t want to like steal the direction but like a lot of people need to realize that that Nobody’s like, we think we’re a big deal, right? We’re not, we’re really not like, you know, people have their lives and their kids and their things that, I mean, I’ll give, I’ll give some, I’ll give you a million dollars right now.

If you can tell me what I posted on July 27th. What did I post, uh, January 4th without looking? You can’t. You don’t remember the s**t I posted. Well, I think you posted a picture of your dog, maybe, I don’t know. Name one thing that Grant posted three, three months ago. You can’t. Our attention span, like, that’s what people gotta realize is we’re living in fear thinking all these people are gonna judge us and watch us.

They are gonna judge you for like three seconds and then they’re gonna be onto something else. So you might as well build your f ing life. That’s something Grant and I vibe on. I love Grant. I love Elena. They’re, they’re, they’re great friends and like, We talk to him all the time, and I see him all the time, and it’s like, you gotta understand, like, the clock is ticking, and every day that you, like, sit on your ass and cry and whine and play small, you’re just wasting your f ing life for a bunch of people that really don’t give a f about you.

They really don’t care about you, so you might as well go all in and really live a fun life, and I think Grant is the, he’s the antithesis of that. He lives that to the fullest. Grant’s the best. And you know what? Like every time I interview him, he, he’s zeroed in on the interview, like, which I really appreciate.

He’s so zeroed in. I appreciate him. He looks fantastic for 60. He looks fantastic. I wanted to ask you about this. I want to get your perspective on it. You touched on leadership, uh, leadership specifically in your opinion, what are the key qualities to an effective leader, both business and your personal life?

You have to believe in yourself and believe in your vision when it seems insane. When no one else sees it. Like when you can see something and no one else sees it, a true leader will continue forward. Like, like Steve Jobs, leader. He saw something that no one else saw and made it reality and it became literally something that changed the world, right?

I saw something that nobody else saw and turned it into reality. And that’s what I think the true Antithesis of a, of a leader is in a business sense is someone who can see something and believe in it, see it, feel it, taste it so much that they’re willing to literally do anything and everything that they can to make it reality.

Uh, on a personal level, you know, you have to live it, man. You know, I, I’ve said this a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand times more. I don’t remember a lot of the things that my dad told me, but I remember what he showed me. And so I want to be a father that shows his kids a man living his dreams, not talking about living my dreams, but living my dreams.

I want to show my sons a savage, which is why I go to the gym and I get jacked. Right. I work out with my boys and we’re talking to six packs and lifting. Right. I show my sons that I show my daughter. How it is to be treated like a queen. I opened the door for, I teach her the things, right? I show them a healthy relationship.

When my wife and I get into conflict, we resolve it. That’s real leadership. Profound advice, Sean. Profound. I think everybody needs to pay attention to that. It’s well said, very well said. One more question about lions, not sheep and entrepreneurship. And then we’ll wrap up with a little bit of personal development there, but.

In the face of societal pressures, right? Expectations. How can entrepreneurs stay true to their vision and their values while navigating the business world? You said they need to do it. Stay true to the vision. Stay on track. How do you do that? You do it. You keep your word. It’s really that simple. There is no magic bullet to this, man.

Be a man of honor. What so few men understand is that, like, nobody’s gonna do it for you. Like, no one’s gonna make you a man of honor. And it might mean that you have to rewrite your entire story. Your entire narrative. My dad was an alcoholic. He left before I got up in the morning. He came home, like, after the sun went down.

The first thing he did, he got drunk. That’s how I was raised. That’s what I knew. That was my upbringing. So I can have two choices. I can be like, Oh, you know, that’s the way that I’m going to go and be mad or say, no, I’m going to chart a different course. And it’s up to every man listening here. What do you want?

Who the f**k are you? You’re not here to be like Sean Whalen or be like Grant or be like Andy Priscilla or be like head of my life, be you. Plant your own flag and defend it with honor. I’m clipping that one too, Sean. Uh, there you go. That’s a must listen for all leaders. It’s a must listen. Extreme ownership.

I like it. Um, okay. You know, I was going to ask you a question about, you know, mindset, but I feel like this whole interview has been one big conversation about mindset. So I’m not going to ask you about that. But what I am going to ask you about is your personal approach to, uh, you know, Mindset in your life, like how do you approach personal development in your own life?

Like what practices, habits and routines are particularly impactful for you specifically? Like how do you maintain mental, emotional, physical well being, especially in high stress situations? I’m a huge advocate of a morning ritual and a morning routine. It’s not very difficult. It’s very simple. I get up.

The first thing I do is gratitude. I literally walk to my window. I thank God for another day. Like I start my day. The very first thing that I do is with gratitude because it’s like. There’s some poor sack who didn’t wake up today. At the end of the day, I’m laying in my bed. I might have the worst day.

I’m like, thank you, God, for another day. I’m gonna get up in the morning. God willing, we’re gonna fight it again. We’re gonna go at it again. You know what I’m saying? To me, that’s, that’s my antithesis. That’s what’s rooted deeply in my DNA. It’s gratitude, man. I love that. I find that the most successful driven people do have a daily gratitude practice.

I think it’s essential. I think it’s essential. Um, okay, I’m going to wrap up with a couple questions here. One is we’ve been talking. We used to ask a question about legacy. You know, have you thought about your legacy, all that stuff? We don’t, I We’re not doing that. Now, we’re talking about purpose a little bit more and I wanna read you the definition of a Japanese word for purpose.

Have you heard of this? Have you heard this word? Yes. Yeah. So, I’m gonna read the definition. It is a concept that combines the two words meaning life and guy meaning value or worth. It refers to the reason for being the thing that gives one a sense of meaning and fulfillment in life. Finding one’s often involves identifying what one loves, what one is good at.

And what the world needs and one can be paid for and the intersection of these elements is considered one’s purpose or ikigai. So the question here, inspired by the meaning of the word ikigai, have you found your purpose and what advice would you have for someone trying to find their passion and purpose in life?

I realized every single time that I was dealing with depression, I was looking behind me. And every single time I was dealing with anxiety, I was worried about tomorrow and neither of them exist. They’re not real. Every single time I found extreme peace. Vision, revelation, and a self worth was in a singular moment, not tomorrow and not yesterday.

And like the light bulb went on in my head, I was like, my purpose isn’t tomorrow. It’s not to be a good dad. It’s not to be the visionary. It’s not to be the leader. I have a singular purpose and it’s to live in one moment. And it’s really fun because I catch myself really easily if I’m stressed, it’s tomorrow.

If I have anxiety or depression, I know exactly where I am and I get to bring myself right back to this reality. And that’s where that gratitude comes in. And so the entire antithesis of my life is to live in a singular moment. That’s my purpose. It gave me chills. First of all, I’ve never heard such a definitive answer on purpose in my life.

I can’t thank you enough for breaking that down. Two final questions. These are fun ones though, Sean. These are fun. Okay. These are all fun, man. I love it. If you could have dinner. With any three people in history, past or present, who would they be and why? My grandfather, because he was a war veteran and I was too young when he died to truly understand what he did.

He was a very noble man and somebody I would love to sit down and have dinner with. I would love to sit down and have dinner with Jesus. For obvious reasons. And I would love to sit down and have dinner with Hitler. Hitler is always in a fascinating creature to me, which is ironic. You got Jesus and Hitler in the same thing, but I would love to know what was truly in that man’s mind.

So those are the three people, my grandfather, Jesus, and Hitler. Very eclectic mix. It’s a very eclectic mix, but I got to tell you, Sean, we’ve had Hitler come up. I don’t know how many times in the last, like half dozen episodes, uh, Moby. Like, I don’t know if you know who Moby is. So we recorded with him.

Last week, he he mentioned Hitler of all people. Andy Frisella mentioned Hitler. I remember that specifically. I’ve heard his name come up in a dinner table a few times now. So yeah, I think there’s a reason why. And it’s it’s probably not why people think because initially you hear that word. You hear the name and you just, you’re drawn to a negative thing, but he’s a fascinating creature.

Like what he did and how he did what he did was really, really, really fascinating. And why he did it. If you really think about it, him and Jesus, like their realities, not who they were as people and the whole thing, but like Jesus had a really interesting mission and did some incredible things that billions of people have followed for years and years and years and years, right?

He got billions of people to follow a message. Adolf Hitler got millions of people to follow a very, very, very contrasting message, which is really fascinating to me. I’m, I’m a marketing, I have a marketing mind, you know what I mean? Late night infomercials are fascinating to me. I’ll watch them and I’m like, uh, that’s what you’re trying to do.

That’s where you’re going with this. So I would love to sit with him and figure that part out. But yeah, those three would be top of my list. No, absolutely. We hear that name quite a bit. Um, okay. Here’s another question. Final question. You’re opening a bottle of champagne one year from now celebrating something you’ve accomplished.

What would that be? Uh, selling my tech company, Jodari. Selling Jodari. It’s a path that we’re on right now. We’re building it. I haven’t shied away from that conversation. We, we built a A really phenomenal community platform called Jidari. I built it for myself, for my coaching groups. They had a couple thousand people and I got sick of getting shut down on Facebook.

I got sick of all these other half ass discord and circle and passion IO. And so, uh, I built my own platform. Uh, it’s called Jidari. And, uh, we have over a hundred thousand users on it right now. And it’s, it’s growing like crazy. So if I’m popping a bottle in a year, we probably won’t sell it in a year. I, it might be a little bit longer than that, but we will sell it.

And that would be, uh, if it’s less than a year, like buying champagne for everybody, you know what I’m saying? Yeah. That’s what I would be celebrating and toasting to. Wow. Fantastic. Uh, well deserved, well deserved. So Sean, I want to thank you very much for joining us today. Really compelling conversation, extremely motivational, extremely motivational.

That was one of the most, uh, it was an intense conversation for me, but, um, it was good to get you to know your, your story in a little bit more detail. It was inspiring for sure. So great interview. Thanks again. Okay. Fantastic. Beautiful. Okay, man. Take the rest of the day off, Sean. Thanks very much.

Appreciate you. Appreciate you brother. Cheers. Cheers.

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