James Swanwick is an Australian-American investor, TV and podcast host, former SportsCenter anchor on ESPN and Hollywood correspondent. He has interviewed celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelia Jolie, George Clooney, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and world leaders, including US Vice President, Al Gore.

What advice would you give your 20-year old self?

Get lots of mentors. Test a lot of things. 

He who tests most wins. So try different professions. Try different jobs. Try different mentors. You’ll find what feels right.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Just do it and do it now. The “do it now” part is the most important. Too many times I’ve waited for a better time or the perfect time. And then often, I don’t do that thing at all. But if I do it now, I get started, I get momentum, and I tend to achieve the very thing I’m seeking.

What are the biggest wastes of time in your profession or area of expertise?

Being addicted to your cell phone. You can do down a rabbit hole and find yourself starting at a screen for hours a day.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it? 

I was living in London in a U.K. winter, was out of work, hardly got any sunlight and was generally feeling sorry for myself. My Dad reminded me, “The darkest part of the night is right before the dawn.” He was right.

I kept saying to myself, “keep moving forward.” And soon enough, things changed. I got work, the winter ended and the sun came out, I moved forward. 

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Hiring a mentor. I hired Tai Lopez to mentor me on online marketing in 2013. It really increased the speed with which I was able to learn and achieve. A mentor can cut your learning curve, ensure you avoid costly mistakes, and keep you on the right path. 

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 7:30 am, workout around 8 am, have a coffee around 9:15 am, work until 12:30 pm, eat my first meal of the day around 12.45pm.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Speed reading. I can read a book a day.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

I like to exercise. I will go for a run. Or go to the gym. Some people like to meditate. My meditation is exercise.

What’s book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Before I read that book I would go into each new relationship thinking, “How can this person help me?” and I achieved limited success. The book taught me to change my voice to, “How can I help this person?”

When I did that, I achieved massive success. The only way to get to a genuine relationship is through giving.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Just do it. Do it now”.