Rich Guy Review: “How to Make Sh*t Happen”

“How to Make Sh*t Happen” By Sean Whalen

Author: Sean Whalen

(c) 2018 by the author

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Bottom Line: Edgy “get-er-done” motivation book with a rough outline of an action plan to move forward in your life.


To hear Sean Whalen tell it, he’s reached the peaks of business success, lost it all during the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and rebuilt it from scratch.

And part of his resurrection was to become a personal success coach.

I confess I don’t know Sean Whalen from Adam. I initially discovered him via a viral video he made telling people who didn’t like him or his approach to, “F*ck off.”  Intrigued at his claims of wild success in real estate flipping in the early 2000’s, I decided, as a student of success, to do a little research.

Aside from self-reported success via social media, podcasts and his personal website, it’s hard to find much about him. I can’t find any real estate titan in the 1990s and 2000s named Sean Whalen, but I digress. Either he was wildly successful very, very quietly, or we’re just watching a guy reinvent himself and create a brand in real-time (and damn near everyone is doing that these days).

That said, his self-published book, available on Amazon, was an amazingly low-priced $3.59 in paperback, so I picked up a copy.

It was a very quick read – about 80 pages in large print, but it was actually more content than you’ll pay for. Here’s the low-down:

  • Whalen is a relentless believer in creating daily habits and taking immediate action. In this sense, he reminds me of a great quote from one of my favorite leaders in U.S. history, Gen. George S. Patton. When creating battle plans, Patton used to admonish his junior officers not to obsess about getting a “perfect” plan. He just needed a “good one”. His exact quote (worthy of a Motivation Monday post, actually), was this:

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Whalen believes very much the same thing. His book itself is an obvious reflection of that attitude: a workable book put out now, is better than a textbook put out in 5 years. And he knows this book is a work in progress: that’s why it’s available new for less than $4 delivered. I see the potential for a much-expanded book with an accompanying workbook and even website on the horizon. (If he’s the entrepreneur he says he is, you can count on it.)

  • There’s no secret to his success, according to Whalen. It’s just about picking yourself up each and every day and taking action toward your goals.
  • Whalen’s technique to “make sh*t happen” is something he calls the Core4. It’s about taking action (big or small, but always intentional), every day, in four general areas of your life: work, family, mind/spirit, body. It’s really that simple (along with the total eradication of excuse-making): take a decisive action to improve each area of your Core4, every day.
  • Whalen also believes you should have your day planned each night before you hit the pillow, which every successful person preaches, and rising early and getting a morning ritual done, without fail.

I’ve seen this morning ritual described before. CFP and personal finance blogger Jeff Rose calls it his “Miracle Morning”. Benjamin Franklin had an amazing morning routine that I’ve tried duplicating. The concept is as old as human endeavor: as your morning starts, so goes your day.

  • And finally, Whalen wants to help you eliminate excuses and, if need be, find a mentor. Again, useful, credible stuff.

To his credit, for a guy selling services as a personal coach (is anyone NOT a personal, professional or life coach these days?), Whalen keeps the sales pitches to a minimum and really pushes his reader to take action.

It’s a short and sometimes crude read, but that’s Whalen’s brand (he has a “mastermind tribe” and podcast) full of big beards, salty profanity, and blue-collar grit. Overall, I found it a decent primer on a system of basic goal-setting with relentless action. And any goal worked toward with Whalen’s intensity is bound to be achieved eventually.

Pick up a copy today – worth it for the “get off your ass” motivation, with a framework of a plan to do exactly that.


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Jeremy Torgerson

Jeremy is a semi-professional actor, full-time financial advisor (nvestadvisors.com), and the owner of "Think Like A Rich Guy". Jeremy writes frequently for Investopedia and other outlets, and is quoted in national media on a variety of financial subjects. Jeremy lives in his home city of Denver, Colorado.

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