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FLOW – Fulfilling Life by Optimizing Work with Guest James Nowlin: MakingBank S2E18


James Nowlin

FLOW – Fulfilling Life by Optimizing Work with Guest James Nowlin: MakingBank S2E18

with James Nowlin

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Few things are as unhelpful or as destructive to the entrepreneur as an interruption—those events and occurrences that jar you from your flow-state, and completely throw off your momentum.

An unexpected phone call…An untimely resignation….An unresponsive third-party contractor…A complaint from a client…

Interruptions like these aren’t just disruptive, they’re discouraging. They sap you of your energy, and poison your otherwise positive working attitude.

And what does that lead to? Nothing short of a total drop in productivity.

But the thing that’s most frustrating about interruptions is this:

They will never go away.

As long as you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to be forced to deal with distractions and disruptions. They will be as regular as the rising and the setting of the sun.

The good news is, you don’t have to learn how to eliminate interruptions, and you don’t need to go to extremes to avoid them—you just need to learn how to experience them.

Which is why host Josh Felber is excited to welcome guest James Nowlin, onto today’s episode of Making Bank.

A successful businessman who knows exactly what it takes to overcome the biggest interruption of all—death—James helps entrepreneurs understand how to approach interruptions in a healthy, positive way. A way that allows them to mitigate the chance of any negative outcome or impact.

By teaching others how to cultivate a mindset that embraces interruptions for what they are—an unavoidable eventuality—James transforms his followers and fellow entrepreneurs into unstoppable tsunamis of productivity.

Tune-in to hear James talk about his company, Excel Global Partners, his latest book, The Purposeful Millionaire, as well as…

•How to have a mindset that is powerful and purposeful

•Why a life worth living is one of reflection and careful examination

•What “energy deposits” and “energy withdrawals” look like

•How to employ routines for success

•What it means to become a manager of your energy

•Why gratitude is essential for a distraction-proof mindset

•What it means to establish a state of flow

•How you can find the right meditation proactive

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Welcome to Making Bank, I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the success strategies and the mindsets of the top 1% so you can amplify your life and your business today. I’m really excited and honored for today’s guest. He is a survivor of a childhood riddled with domestic violence, alcoholism in the rural foothills of southern Virginia. James Nowlin is now the CEO and founder of Austin-based executive consulting firm, Excel Global Partners and Fund Managing Principal of EGP family of companies. He founded the company in 2007, and has since led successful engagements in 15 countries and more than 20 states. He is also about to release his first book, The Purposeful Millionaire, a memoir and guidebook of 52 rules that will teach people about mastering the millionaire mindset and getting the most out of life doing more and achieving more.

James, he’s 36, he put himself through college at the University of Virginia as a pre-med student and one year of medical school at Howard University. As well as three years of Law School at Duke University. But ultimately, he decided that being a doctor or a lawyer was not for him. “I used to think that if you had to be the Huxtables to be successful,” he says was one of his favorite TV shows growing up, “But I know that there’s another path that’s calling me right now.”

Throughout his adult life, James used daily habits and purposeful mindset to become a millionaire businessman, speaker, and author. At the age of 31, he also survived a near-impossible odds in a drowning accident and considers this event his awakening to a more purposeful and powerful life.

James, I’m going to welcome you to Making Bank.

James Nowlin: Thank you so much for having me, Josh. I’m excited to be here.

Josh Felber: Awesome, man. I was reading through some of your background and just really excited to learn more about who you are, and just really what got you on the road. Because you went to college for being a lawyer, you went to college for being a doctor. And what made that shift where you wanted to head down the path of entrepreneurialship?

James Nowlin: Well, you know, Josh, I didn’t even know any better. For years zero to 17 in my father’s house, he was a UPS driver, my mother was a factory worker at the highest paying factory in the region, and we were working class, middle class folks. And where I got my dreams was literally watching TV, although I did not watch a lot of TV. And growing up in a small town in southwest Virginia, I didn’t know that people who look like me could go down the path of being a CEO and a multimillionaire businessman. I saw the Huxtables on TV and both of them have brown skin and I have brown skin, and I said, “Well, hey, I’ve got to be a doctor or a lawyer in order to be successful and have a big house and a nice family.”

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: Now, after the age of 17, I left home, went to the University of Virginia for four years. Medical school at Howard. Dropped out of that. Went to law school. Finished law school but ended up practicing corporate law and not liking it. And ventured out to start my own firm, which is an executive consulting firm called Excel Global Partners, and didn’t know a thing about business when I was venturing out, but let me tell you, I had to learn very, very quickly. And I’m so glad, Josh, that I just took that first step to get out of a life of being a corporate attorney, which was not meant for me. And my life radically changed after I launched the firm because I had some initial success but the bottom fell out of the sky with the economy and I had no money. And a couple of my friends declared bankruptcy. And the Great Recession came. And they lost their houses. I had to get tougher, wiser, smarter, stronger, and more fiscally conservative in order to keep my lights on. That’s my foundation.

Josh Felber: I guess when you were starting the consulting agency and going into business for the first time, what’d you say, “Cool, this is what I want to go consult on?” Because obviously you hadn’t been in business yet, so it’s not like, let me go and teach you how to be in business. And your background was from a legal standpoint and doctor training and everything. I guess what was that like, “Cool, this is what I know, I can go help somebody and help them do better in?”

James Nowlin: Absolutely. I saw an opportunity for an opening in the executive consulting space because as a corporate attorney, I would hear grumbles from clients talking about, “Deloitte screwed this up.” This big, global, behemoth Accenture messed that up. And I thought, well, I’m pretty smart and I know some pretty smart people, and if I’m just given the opportunity, I’ve got to be able to a better job and to value my clients a little bit more than some of these global behemoths.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: I put myself out there with the value proposition that I would be a white glove, boutique consulting firm with the best practices, who cared the most about his clients, and who would give them the extra service and the value that they were looking for as an option to the big, global consulting firms. And it worked.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome. And so then what’s your specialty with that? Where do you get those changes happening with them?

James Nowlin: Our practice groups, we’ve got three practice groups. Number one is finance and accounting consulting, supporting the office of chief financial officers or chief information officers.

Josh Felber: Sweet. Sure.

James Nowlin: And then number two is corporate strategy and management consulting. And then number three is data and financial IT systems.

Josh Felber: Awesome.

James Nowlin: What we do is we go in to work to financially and operationally optimize a company so that they’re better run, more profitable and better places to work as well. And we’ve been doing that now since 2007, and we’re coming up on our tenth anniversary this year.

Josh Felber: Awesome.

James Nowlin: And we’ve had some stumbles along the way, but let me tell you, we’re better, stronger, wiser every single year. And our client portfolio is growing, growing, growing, whether it’s in the fortune 500 space or the mid-market space, which is companies roughly $50 million to $500 million in my calculation. That’s where I have a lot of fun because you can get in and pull a lot of levers to make that business successful, and do it in a relatively quick way as well. And we also work for some non-profits and government agencies too.

Josh Felber: Awesome. And so tell me with that, is that mid-market the sweet spot for you guys and where you have most of your focus and clients? Or, is it that smaller, upper level?

James Nowlin: I would love for all of my clients to be mid-market clients. We’ve got a lot of really big clients now who are fortune clients. And I’m so very grateful for those fortune clients, some of whom might be listening to this interview right now. We’re grateful for them. But in very large organizations, it’s hard to effectuate change on a relatively quick basis.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: In the mid-market, we get in, we get to know the people who own the company. We have direct conversations with the stakeholders sometimes on a daily basis. We build relationships of know, like, and trust and we deliver solutions. And a lot of the time this is for companies that are family-owned, that have been around for one, two, and three generations that are very successful but who are looking for a competitive edge by having an objective firm come in that cares and can roll up their sleeves. And from a strategy standpoint, not just provide strategy, but implementation as well. And that’s where we have our strongest relationships. And I got to tell you, I love the family-owned, mid-market companies that we work with.

Josh Felber: Cool. And so along your journey, because I know when I was reading your bio and everything, you said about the whole drowning accident and that was that switch or that transformation for you. Tell me a little bit more about that and what that did for you in your life.

James Nowlin: The drowning accident took place on August 25, 2012. I was 31-years-old, and the book is actually going to be released four months before the fifth anniversary of my accident, which is August 25, 2017. Prior to the accident, I would say, Josh, I was living on a daily basis on a scale of one to 10, somewhere between a three and an eight. And that’s just not good in my opinion.

Josh Felber: That’s a big swing.

James Nowlin: Between a three and an eight, probably most days were a five or a six or so, but a really good day was an eight. After the accident, after I had examined my life, made some different decisions, reevaluated what I wanted out of my life and moved in a different direction, I’m on a scale of one to 10, an eight to 10 on a daily basis.

Now, there were some things that I purposefully did to change my life, but at the end of the day, when I’m talking to somebody sometimes they’ll say, “Well, I’m so sorry that that happened to you and you had to be in the hospital and you were assumed to be dead. The rescuers and your best friend rescued you out of the water and you had your recovery period,” and all that stuff, and I say, “No, no. That was my awakening. That was my second birthday and it changed my life. I am grateful for that experience.”

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: Because Josh, I had the houses, I had the cars, I had the flashy friends. I had the fancy travel to anywhere I wanted to go to in the world. But I was living a relatively unexamined life. By going through that accident on 8/25/12, my life changed for the better, and eventually, it’s gotten to the point where you know what, there’s some principles, some rules that I live by in order to achieve a life of abundance and happiness and I want to share that with the world.

Two years ago, I started writing my book The Purposeful Millionaire because I realized that if this country boy from the southern foothills of Virginia can survive the childhood that he did from the age of zero to 17, can put himself through college, med school, law school, all those things, can bounce back from a drowning where he literally went to the other side and come back as an awakened man, I’ve got to share this with others. And that’s what the 52 rules are all about. If I can do it, others can do it too.

Josh Felber: Definitely. I want to talk to you in a minute maybe what some of those are and how that created change in your life, how that’s brought you down your journey. What do you think, from the actual drowning accident, where maybe your three biggest takeaways or transformational pieces that, I guess you say awakened you and your life, and that you’ve been able to implement for your success now?

James Nowlin: Number one, I reevaluated who was getting time in my life. For example, just because somebody was a business associate or was another high network person or was a high achiever, I was including that person in my life whether we had commonalities or not.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: When I awakened and came from that accident, I said, well, when people come into your life they will make an energy deposit or they will make an energy withdrawal. It’s okay to have a person in your life who makes withdrawals. Sometimes you’ve got to support that person and give that person a shoulder to cry on. However, you’ve got to surround yourself with like-minded positive people who are in the struggle with you. Who support you, care for you, love you, like you and trust you, and who can lift you up so that if you go to a lunch meeting with that person or you have that person in your house, or go to dinner with that person, when you say goodbye, you feel uplifted and empowered and good about yourself.

I had some people in my life who I just flat out, did not enjoy spending time with. And I thought that in order to be successful, this is what my circle of friends or my network had to look like. Today, my network is fundamentally different. I don’t give my time, energy, space to just anybody. I’ve very selective about that, and I’m grateful that I did that too.

Overall, Josh, there are about a thousand different things that changed in me. However, what it all boils down to is now I’m a manager of my energy. And I’m a manager of my partnership with the universe and the interplay of the universe working for me and me also working for it. I know that after the accident I’m going to be more abundant, I’ll be wealthier, and also I’m going to be a heck of a lot happier because the wool has been pulled off of my eyes and I’m so happy for that.

Josh Felber: That’s amazing because a lot of people wouldn’t see it that way, and they wouldn’t see that as a positive experience in your life. It’s one of those limiting beliefs or those factors that would hold them back. I’ve seen it. I get to travel a lot, and around a lot of different groups and people, and for the most part, majority of them have had experiences, but like you they’ve been able to transform them into positive events. But it’s interesting when you do meet those people that are not and how they look at it and how it drastically changes where their position is in life and where they could be at. For sure.

James Nowlin: Well, you know, Josh, my philosophy is that nothing bad has ever happened to me in life and nothing bad will ever happen to me in life. And if I remind myself of that on a daily basis, that it’s not about what happens to me, it’s about how I respond to it and how I embrace it, breathe through it, live through it, and make myself a better person because of it, I will be a much more blessed man.

Now I could dwell on the accident, and the fact that I couldn’t speak very well, and my family thought that I had lost part of my vocabulary and some cognitive function after the accident. Or I could dwell on the fact that my dad beat the hell out of my mom when I was growing up, or I grew up scared of him and don’t have much of a relationship with him today. There are a lot of things that we could dwell on, and each of us in our own special way, is dealing with some type of post-traumatic stress disorder. If you look at somebody and you look at them from the outside, you don’t know what’s going on on the inside with that person.

Josh Felber: True.

James Nowlin: That person is most likely dealing with some type of trauma in some way in their life. And how that person responded to it is the difference between whether that person is going to succeed and go far or not go very far at all.

Josh Felber: No, I totally agree. People always asked, “What have you had happen bad in your life,” and I try to think back and it’s like, I guess it’s probably what I put on it. Because I’ve never had anything really, I guess, bad if you compare it to anybody else. I’m blessed to be the path that I’ve been on and the experiences and everything else. And so it’s always been a stick question for me. It’s like, “I don’t really know,” because there hasn’t been a significant thing. And that’s probably because of the value I put on that kind of a thing. And looking at it and creating a positive situation out of it, whatever it may have been.

I’d like to dive in a little bit. I know in your new book that’s coming out, The Purposeful Millionaire, excited to learn about some of the different things that you’ve integrated in the book, as well as some of those daily habits or those rules for yourself that you live by along your journey here. That way our listeners can grab onto some of that. Taking notes here and just be able to start integrating some of that into their life, those pieces that fit them.

James Nowlin: Absolutely. One of the things that I do every single morning is I wake up at the same time, and in the evening hours, I go to bed at the same time. Some people might find that boring and monotonous, but in my opinion, monotony creates empires because it gets my mind, my body, my spirit into a schedule of purposefulness every single day.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: And there’s a lot that’s thrown at us as very successful people who have fiduciary responsibilities, who carry what we sometimes feel like is the weight of the world on our shoulders. I will even wear the same black, not the same one every day, but the same black shirt every single day to work when I’m feeling like not wanting to make decisions. In fact, I have it on right now and it’s got my company logo on it to simplify the decision-making process. Because the average person makes thousands of decisions on a daily basis, and if I can have my assistant just choose my food for me, or if I can not have to think about what I’m going to wear to the office the next day, I can devote my attention to decision-making on much more challenging tasks where the value actually is.

Now, getting back to waking up at the same time and going to bed at the same time every single day. Whether I’m traveling in the United States in a different time zone or on the other side of the world, I’m pretty much going to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every single day. I get my eight hours in. Sleep is very, very important.

One of the things I do when I go to sleep at night, because I don’t believe in doing tasks more than one time, is I write by my bedside on a Post-it not, the things that I want to accomplish tomorrow that I did not accomplish today. And what that does, Josh, is it releases it from the mind. Because a lot of the time, one of the reasons why we’re tired is because we’re not only doing the task but we’re thinking about the task in our sleep, we’re dreaming about the task, we’re agonizing the task during the day before we actually have to do it, and then we’re agonizing about it some more because we’re talking to a friend or an associate about why we don’t like to do it. I like to do my work one time, and that helps me to stay in a state of purposefulness and productivity.

The other thing is, with waking up at the same time every single morning, I’ve got the same routine. It is 20 minutes of body weight lifting exercise or yoga or some weight lifting or running every single morning. I don’t make it complicated. I don’t bring a lot of gym clothes or gym shoes with me to hotels or to wherever I’m staying when I travel. I can be in my birthday suit with the towel down on the floor and doing yoga or body weight exercises, and I don’t have to worry about the logistics of all that stuff. I just do it.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: My body’s programmed to wake up, do that 20 minutes of movement every single day. A buddy of mine said, “Well, let’s go to the gym and let’s bang it out for a couple of hours and give it our best.” And he literally does it once a month. And I’m like, well, dude, my body is already in shape and I’m taking care of myself because I do my 20 minutes of tough meditative workouts every single morning.

Now, before I do that, I make up my bed, even if I’m in a hotel room or a hotel suite or whatever, or at somebody’s house. And I chant, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” to the universe as I’m making up that bed because I’ve had the opportunity to sleep in a place where the roof is not leaking, where the toilet works, where the sheets are clean and where the mattress is nice and soft and comfortable. Because much of the world does not have that.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: And it puts my mind in a frame of gratitude so that I am ready for the world in a positive state that day. And it also opens up the world to meet me in terms of my capacity for expansion. When I take care of the things that I have, I know that the universe will bless me with more. If I don’t take care of my home, my hotel room, my shoes, my car, my office, those other things, how can I ask the world to bless me with more if I’m not showing gratitude and capacity to care for what I actually have. That’s my way of continuing the partnership with the universe.

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Josh Felber: And I think that’s definitely important is it’s the little things. And by doing the little things, that leads to the bigger things. Whether it’s having the gratitude for the bed and having the roof over your head and that sort of thing, to being able to connect with somebody via a Skype video right now instead of over an old, wired phone like back in the day. And so it’s definitely those things that I think help set the framework and the path, as you mentioned, for your day and where you want to go with it.

Those are some of your different morning and evening routines and stuff. What have you found that works best for you throughout the day, whether it’s from a productivity standpoint or it’s a maybe lacking energy, to be able to regain that energy for yourself throughout the day?

James Nowlin: For me, willpower is finite. And I believe that for most people willpower is finite. And we have the most willpower in the morning hours.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: The main thing that I do is I do my hard work in the morning. And for those who are looking at the video, this is my to-do list, I’m not sure if it will focus.

Josh Felber: There you go.

James Nowlin: But that’s a lot of stuff that I’ve got to do during the day. It’s got my meetings broken down, travel time and all that good stuff. But at the top of the list, it’s got the three hardest things that I’ve got to achieve that day. And for me, a lot of that boils down to fiduciary responsibilities and legal contracts. I’m working on contracts, legal stuff, hammering out some financial stuff, which requires the left side of my brain to really be firing early on in the morning. Because I tell you, pretty much I’m in the bed by nine o’clock every night, so I’m not a very good thinker at about seven o’clock, and I don’t have a whole lot of willpower. I’m thinking about reading a little bit of fiction at night time, sometimes some nonfiction regarding best practices for the company or whatever. But I’m not a good talker, thinker, communicator, any of that stuff because my energy and willpower focused in the morning hours.

What happens when I complete those three hardest tasks is that I feel good about the rest of the day and it gives me a lot of positive energy knowing that I’ve knocked out the hardest stuff.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: The rest of my day can be meeting with other people, traveling to sit in boardrooms and preparing for different presentations and talking strategy. And sometimes, quite frankly, just shooting the breeze so that I can recharge between meetings during the day. That’s a recipe that works for me. And it also helps me to increase my productivity because when I’m firing on all cylinders with my phone in airplane mode in the morning time, in the wee hours of the morning when the rest of the world is asleep and not bothering me, I’m cranking out six, seven hours worth of work in sometimes two or three hours, whereas, if my willpower were low, I’d not be able to get that work done as quickly.

Josh Felber: That’s definitely great. I know I’m similar to you, I just shift mine a little bit. I get to bed at the one A.M. I work in the evening, late, and then-

James Nowlin: I’m not judging you, buddy. I promise I’m not judging you.

Josh Felber: … but I still get whatever my set hours are, whether it’s that six, six-in-a-half hours. And so I’ve worked on different sleep hacks over the years to really-

James Nowlin: You get your Josh hours. People have got to find their Josh hours or Bob hours or Susie hours or James hours.

Josh Felber: For sure.

James Nowlin: And understand the system that works for them.

Josh Felber: Definitely. I think whatever that is is getting the best of that. I made sure that time, for me, that I’m sleeping, I’m in full deep sleep, that way it’s not restless sleep and I’m getting that rest that my body needs to repair itself and to feel better and everything else as well.

Tell me a little bit more about the book and some insights in it, without giving too much away, but enough to where like, man, cool, I want to go grab this off Amazon in a couple of weeks.

James Nowlin: The book is really a memoir, Josh, talking about where I’ve come from to where I am today. And it also discusses where I’m going. And I invite others to join me on this journey of being a purposeful millionaire, not just being wealthy but being happy.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: And quite frankly, I excavate and share some of my most challenging humbling circumstances with people. And we have exercises at the end of each chapter so that people can focus on getting their mindset, their subconscious in the right place. Because for me, it’s all about visualization. Envisioning where I’m going in the future.

Now, we’ve got exercises in the book where we talk about the power of creating a vision board, the power of certain things that you can do to get your subconscious in order on a daily basis so that you are hitting it on all cylinders as much as possible, 365 days of the year. Now, it’s just as much a memoir as it is a workbook. And it’s a fun workbook. And you can write and scribble through the book, and we’ve got pages for notes and we’ve spaced things out accordingly. But it gets people from A to Z in terms of what they think they can be and how they think they can get there.

And for me, we break it down into four sections. This is the success formula that I share with others. Idea plus plan plus execution equals success. Now, Josh, everybody’s got an idea. And ideas are a dime a dozen. You got to the cocktail party, you listen to the guy walking up to you, once again with all the ideas that he has about the app that he’s going to create or the business he’s going to create or whatever.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: I’ve got a lot of ideas too, but I don’t have time to put them into place. However, I know how to move from the idea phase to the planning phase because I do know that ideas should take about one percent of your time. Now planning should take about nine percent of your time. Hashing out the details to work to ensure that a plan is actually going to come to a successful fruition.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: Once you’re in the plan phase, get out of that, get out of the analysis paralysis and move on to the execution phase because the reality is, the plan has got to be flexible, it’s got to be nimble because you really learn how to modify that plan when you’re in the execution phase. One percent of your time in ideas, nine percent in planning, 90% of your time in execution, and that’s what’s going to get you to success. And the book is broken down into those four parts with the 52 rules sprinkled across those four parts so that people can actually get to success from a financial and a happiness standpoint in their lives.

Josh Felber: That’s really awesome. It’s interesting how you broke it all down. A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were at this kid’s entrepreneurs event that I took her down to, and they broke them out into groups and they had to come up with an idea and the name and the slogan. Then they had to plan. They had to come up with how are they going to market it, a TV commercial. Then they had to actually take action on it and execute and say here’s how we’re going to do this, here’s our TV commercial, here’s this. And at the very end, they had to go on stage and make a pitch to investors. They had all their presentations ready. It was cool hearing you explain it and knowing hey, I just saw her get to go through and everything.

And what was cool about it was, of all the ideas that came out there, she was the only kid being eight-years-old, that had her own business already.

James Nowlin: Wow.

Josh Felber: They actually took her idea, spun off a variation of it, because it was already something that was executing and working, and then they were able to take and build off of that for what they were doing.

James Nowlin: I love it.

Josh Felber: It’s definitely extremely important, that whole process. And obviously like you said, the 90% being in the action phase. As an entrepreneur and doing consulting myself in the past, working with different business owners and things, is they would have an idea and we go, we map it all out, but then they start to execute it a little bit and it gets too hard. It’s like, oh man, I didn’t know it was going to be like this. You mean I got to go do this and put this much time in? You’re paying me, but this is just baffling to me how you can sit there and put yourself in that position. What have you found that’s worked well in taking that action and being able to continue every day and put forth and still take action?

James Nowlin: Well, first I’ll say is that the execution’s hard, and once you get out there and you start actually doing it, it’s sometimes many times harder than what you’ve every imagined. Whether it’s kids working on a project or it’s adults, professionals, working on expanding a business, changing the direction of a business or whatever, it is really, really hard.

Now, from the outside in, people look at us and say, “Oh my gosh. The private jets and fancy cars and big house,” and blah, blah, blah. You’re living the life of a baller. No, this is stuff is really, really, really hard, Josh. And it takes a lot of time. Particularly if you’re like I am, who’s at the phase of his career where he’s trying to plow money into passive income structure so that he doesn’t have to work as hard and he can actually enjoy his life a little bit more.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: But what works for me is making sure that I stick to that same routine every single day and I take some of the decision-making processes out of my day. And just understanding that it’s about grit. G-R-I-T. Get ready, it’s tough. Get ready, it’s tough, baby.

The other thing is, I’m constantly working on hacking the flow of my life and my productivity and optimizing how I get work done and when I get work done.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: Flow, for me, which I did not include in the book, but it came to my mind the other day. It is F-L-O-W, fulfilling life by optimizing work. Now, I mentioned earlier some of the fiduciary stuff and contract stuff that I have to do.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: Now I’m fulfilling my life by getting to the good stuff that I’m really, really good at by making sure that I knock out the hard stuff for me, which is administrative legal financial tasks and things like that. I’m fulfilling my life, getting to the happy stuff by not agonizing over the hard stuff, knocking it out as quickly as possible and being in that state of flow.

Now, my mom actually told me the other day, and she works for my corporation, she was like, “Oh my gosh, you’re in a state of flow. You sound good. You’re rolling all the time. And you’re positive. And it’s just go, go, go, go and nothing can get you down.” But it’s about getting into that state of flow and not allowing anybody to knock you out of that state of flow because once you get knocked out, you’ll start getting more colds, you might pick up the flu, you lose your energy, you start thinking more negatively. You’re not as happy as you used to be, you’re not getting the contracts that you wanted to. A certain person is not coming into your life from a business or a personal perspective that you want to come into your life. It is all about flow, sticking to it.

Josh Felber: It’s really cool because I’ve been reading another book and that’s all it is about is flow and getting yourself in the flow state and there’s 20 different types of triggers out there that you’re able to utilize to trigger a flow state and they’re different for everybody. People got to find the ones that work best for them and everything. I think that’s awesome that you have that connection with that and being able to put yourself in it, because that’s when you become, obviously the most creative, the most productive, and you can time crunch a ton of productivity in that shorter amount of time, for sure.

James Nowlin: Well, you know what it boils down to also, Josh, is self-awareness. We get so busy with the external world and people needing us and having demands for meetings and attention from us, and our phones constantly need attention from us because Facebook is dinging and Twitter’s binging and Linked In is doing this, that or the other, and people are texting us or whatever. It’s moving from that external state to the internal state to tap into oneself to say, you know what, I’m moving from about a nine to a seven right now in my life, what are the certain triggers that are going on that have moved me from a nine to a seven and how do I move back from a seven to a nine as quickly as possible.

To get to that state, we must breathe, we must meditate, we must take time out to get away from the noise. We must focus on the internal instead of the external. And for years, I thought that in order to meditate I had to sit on a pillow or sit on a blanket and close my eyes. That doesn’t work for a Type A person like me.

Josh Felber: Nope.

James Nowlin: And I found myself in a state of rejection and judgment because I couldn’t meditate like everybody else, or Deepak Chopra or whoever told or whosever book I read. What works for me is movement and bringing intention to my exercise. When I’m doing yoga, I’ll close my eyes and I’ll bring an intention to that practice for that day to help me get back to a nine or a 10. And my moving, by breaking a sweat, I can get into a meditative state. I can even me lifting weights in a meditative state or running in a meditative state. But sitting on a pillow does not work for me.

For entrepreneurs out there who might have struggled, like I am, who are Type A and who are go, go, go, go, go. Who just want to be as successful as possible. Find the meditation that works for you and don’t judge yourself because there are different types for all different types of people.

Josh Felber: And I agree because I was the same way. It’s like, man to sit here for 20 minutes with my legs crossed and this. I didn’t for many of years until I was actually at a buddy of mine, Jim Quick, and he does the brain training and everything and I was at his mastermind that he had. And he introduced us to Ariel, the founder of Muse, the technology headband. And she’s like, “Cool, use this,” so we did. I’m like, “This is awesome.” I’ve used that, I don’t know, for two-and-a-half years now. And all my kids have one. And so every morning they’re laying there with their headbands on, rocking it out, seeing who can get the lowest calm neural paths and the most birds and everything. And you think back, man, whether it’s breathing, whether it’s that Muse, having that as a kid would have been huge from the perspective of knowing and understanding how to train your brain, how to get into flow state. How to calm it when you get into stressful situations would be a huge, phenomenal thing.

It’s really awesome, I think, that that type of products are out there. And as us, Type A entrepreneurs and go, go, go and everything else, the way technology’s advancing and everything else, that we’re able to grab onto those things and really help us become better people overall or connect and just be better of who we are.

James Nowlin: That’s a good point, Josh. And I’ll tell you, when you know better you typically do better. I think that you and I are in the ballpark same age or whatever, but we didn’t have access to information about these things years ago. Now we’ve got access. We can google, we can YouTube. I encourage people to just get out there and find something that’s working for them because it boils down to accessed information. And we live in the information age right now.

Josh Felber: Sure.

James Nowlin: And I’m constantly tweaking and trying new things. And you’re constantly tweaking and trying new things to find out what’s going to help you to live the healthiest, happiest, wealthiest life that you can possibly live.

Josh Felber: Definitely. We just got a couple minutes left, what recap or summary would you like to talk to everybody about The Purposeful Millionaire? And then, where can they find more information out about you and the book?

James Nowlin: For me, I’ve had two lives now. My first life was from December 10, 1980 all the way until August 25, 2012. My second life was from August 25, 2012 now. And I’m so glad that I have that second life and the opportunity to be a better person who is living a more meaningful, more powerful, more epic life. And also a life, in which from a financial perspective, my wealth is multiplying to an extent that I did not imagine before August 25, 2012, although, I was a wealthy man before that. And by getting my mind right and by training my subconscious, I am so looking forward to what the next 10 years, 20 years, 40 years are going to look like in my life. And I invite others to join me on that journey of being a purposeful millionaire too.

They can find out more about this movement of wealth creation and purposefulness that I am creating at Me as in me, myself and I because they are the purposeful millionaires out there. And also, on April 25th, our goal is to be the number one bestseller on Amazon. And I need as much help from everybody as possible to just get out there, spend the $14.99 and buy the book. And you can find the book at It’s my names. J-A-M-E-S, That’ll take you right to The Purposeful Millionaire. Guys, please buy the book because we are starting a movement. And then after that, we’re going to have The Purposeful Millionaire Club.

Josh Felber: Awesome.

James Nowlin: That folks can sign up for free so that they can get weekly motivation in their inboxes to make sure that they are on path and staying on track for being purposeful millionaires, living the best possible life that they can possibly life.

Josh Felber: Awesome, man. James, it was an honor to have you on Making Bank today, sharing your story. Some of the challenges and what’s helped you become successful and being able to transform your life and what you’re doing today. I think it’s really awesome. And again, thank you for your time today.

James Nowlin: Thank you for your time, Josh. I appreciate it.

Josh Felber: Guys, hope you were taking notes. Tons of good content in there. Make sure you guys grab a copy of James’ book. It’ll help transform your life in some way, even if it’s one little tiny sentence or nugget out of that. That’s what I look for when I read a book. It’s never usually the whole book, but that one little thing that will actually transform my life, transform what I’m doing and just make things better for myself or for my family. Thank you for watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.