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In the five years since he left the service, former US Navy SEAL Brandon Webb has been busy. He started one business that failed gravely. He went through a divorce. He started the media and e-commerce company Hurricane Group that’s now valued at $100 million. And he’s authored five best-selling books, including his latest, Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure (Penguin Random House, 2017).
Brandon Webb’s Secret Weapons
How could one guy do so much in five years? Interestingly, yoga and meditation just may be Webb’s secret weapons. Whether on sniper duty, watching over his Navy SEAL platoon in Afghanistan, or mulling over a multi-million-dollar offer to purchase his business, the ability to cultivate razor-sharp clarity has been key to his success, says Webb, who credits his achievements to both his armed forces training and his study of the ancient practices.
While seemingly at odds, Webb says the two actually have a lot in common. “If I was in charge of a SEAL team now, I’d teach everyone how to meditate,” he says. “In a sniper program, you have to block everything else out. We train the guys to the point where they have to not let the outside environment bother them—so they stay focused on taking that shot.”
How He Discovered Yoga & Meditation
During a skydive back in 2009, Webb was knocked unconscious by another guy’s boot while free-falling. Fortunately, his parachute fired so he could land, but he was unable to move his head for two weeks following the incident. On a previous dive, Webb had jammed his lower back and sprained his right hamstring.
“These were my two biggest injuries,” says the ex-SEAL, who experienced serious lower back pain once he left the Navy. “I used to throw my back out four or five times a year at 30 years old. I couldn’t even tie my shoes because of the pain.”
Webb got an MRI at the Veterans Association (VA). “Surgery was recommended, but a neurosurgeon friend advised against it, and instead told me to do yoga, and heal my back naturally,” Webb says. “Some VA rehab guys taught me a bunch of stretches, which began my practice. Yoga saved my life.”
He taught himself to meditate by reading books, like Timothy Ferriss’s, and by using the HeadSpace app. Today, Webb begins each morning with vinyasa yoga (his favorite poses are Tree and Cat-Cow) and a 10-minute mantra-based meditation.
How His Practice Has Boosted His Productivity in Business
Webb uses his practice as a tool throughout his busy days, too. “I’ve gotten to where I can meditate anywhere. I can put myself into a short meditation and wipe the slate clean,” he says.
He also champions positive psychology and mental management, both skill sets used in special-ops training, in his book. “I monitor my self-talk, reminding myself that I’m capable of achieving the outcome I’m aiming for,” Webb says.
Such self-care has helped shape him into an impressive entrepreneur by anyone’s standards. “Taking the time to invest in my mental and physical health enables me to make better business decisions,” Webb says. “Every major decision, I’ll meditate on and then let it go.”
Reaching a higher level of concentration helps Webb to maintain an edge in his leadership role, too. “My job as CEO is to read the world—like an economist. My practice lets me step back and take a look at what’s happening in the media landscape over the next year, and what the American economy and investment environment are going to be like over the next five years,” he says.