I’m very big on taking physical actions that empower oneself to feel confident and build energy fast. When we get stressed out, it could be caused by a variety of reasons such as fear of failure, or a variation of am I enough. Thats when the fear within the mind takes over, when you realize that physiology plays such an important role in the story that you tell yourself. Your physiology will change the story so taking empowered action is key to shifting your state
As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewing James Lin.
James Lin is a California based motivational speaker, Peak Identity Coach, Real Estate entrepreneur, educator, and humanitarian. He is the co-creator of Saje Flow which was established in 2019. With the work of his organization, James managed to directly inspire over 33,000 people to date.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, as a child I moved to Los Angeles from Taipei, Taiwan when I was just 5 years old with my two older brothers and my mother. My family came to America to pursue the American dream. For a better education for me and my brothers, as my mother was the first in my family to go to college, she hoped and wishes for a better future for my family.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.
When we moved to America, I remember the 4 of us living in a small room, my mom was working multiple jobs, she barely knew any English and we didn’t know anyone, I distinctly remembered an argument between my mother and father over money. I secretly listened in with the crack of the door as I heard them arguing about the lack of money, I remember I made a promise that I’d help my parents and my family and one day being abundant and be able to help save my parents from their worry and stress.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, I met my mentor Mark Strome when he was giving a speech at an Entrepreneurs Organization event in Los Angeles, at the time I had built out my business from my mother’s garage with a few hundred dollars and I was looking for wisdom in doing the biggest deal that I had at the time. I had an online distribution company and books were among our products. At the time, the book industry was shifting as Borders Group was going bankrupt. Some saw it as an end to our industry, I saw it as an opportunity to go digital with online books. Mark reviewed my proposal for 1 million books and acknowledged that it would be a success. He asked me a question that would forever change my life, it was a simple question for him, but it blew my mind. You’re going to make a lot of money from this, but let me ask you why stop at a million? I never took outside money before and I’d double down on investments an $1 million was the most that I could leverage at the time, the question opened my mind to thinking bigger and the possibility of thinking bigger. Though the bankruptcy court pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute, I pivoted to buying as many books as I could from each of the stores. Thought I didn’t get the 5 million books, I gained a true mentor who is like a father to me and a close friend and mentor. The capital that I received from doing this deal helped me transition to real estate investing
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
The first house that I’ve ever purchased at an auction, caught fire and had fire trucks and bomb squad when I arrived on the scene, the house that I just bought was burning down the same day that I’d bought it. No matter how much preparation you take, you can never predict the outcome and you must learn to adjust and adapt to whatever challenges come up, to not be overly critical of oneself, but to learn the lesson that needs to be learned and to not be afraid to fail, but to fail forward. To not be afraid of failure but to reframe any failure as an opportunity for growth to learn from the experience. I believed there was a solution and that I would find it, I was able to get the money refunded which normally doesn’t happen since it’s an auction and typically you buy it and it is yours
The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
My advice to a young person who aspires to be an entrepreneur? It would be to have a big dream and then break it down where you are celebrating the progress vs only being satisfied when you get that result, dedicate yourself to the journey rather than wait for the outcome to come to fruition before y0u can be satisfied so become happy with the steps of success
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Yes, when I was starting my businesses, I was on that startup grind, where I’d put in so much energy, effort and hours. There be some nights on holidays where I was just grinding it out. Then I picked up a book called the 4 Hour Work Week and was inspired by the out of box thinking that other entrepreneurs were out in the world creating. The biggest inspiration from that book was that you can find ways to work smarter, it opened up my mindset to really thinking outside the box. I definitely didn’t just work 4 hours a week, it was more of the mindset of what is possible that helped me shift and grow as an entrepreneur
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Flow is everywhere. When you focus on what you want rather than what you fear, you give energy to what you desire more of in life” — Saje Flow
This deeply resonates with me because at times people give too much energy to what they fear vs what they actually want in life, recognize that each of us has the power to give energy and focus on what we actually want, to be of an abundance mindset vs scarcity mindset, to give energy to what you want to create more of in life vs what you may fear
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Right now we are co-creating amazing projects that we’ll soon be sharing with people, one is a podcast where I committed to and just finished 90 podcasts under 30 days, it is a podcast called Dancing And Life Podcast, its about how we all face challenges in life, what if we can utilize movement, dancing and flow to rise above the challenges and to share stories of how everyday heroes overcome challenges they face (think Great Big Story but with a twist).
Another project we are co-creating right now is a Dancing Through Crisis Program, with all that is going on in 2020, with no shortage of crisis, I’ve created a Dancing Through Life Crisis Program and 7 Day Dance Challenge to help empower people to not only face challenges but to thrive during one by teaching my 7 identities Framework through 7 different types of dance. I believe we all have different parts within us that we can bring out depending on the situation. For example, one of the archtype (identities ) is the inner Warrior, and were teaching people how to utilize the Haka Dance (Google All Blacks from New Zealand) a Maori tradition to bring more courage to face whatever it is that people need to face
Also, we’re growing out Youtube Channel to teach people about how I’m defining Flow (Freedom, Love, Opportunity to Wealth), I’ll be doing a 24-hour live stream on 11/11/2020 to remind people that whatever challenges they are going through that they are not alone. There is so much uncertainty out there with Covid and all the events from 2020, we are planning to do a giveaway every hour for the 24 hours and am in talks with sponsors for the giveaway. We want people to realize that they are enough and they are not alone
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?
Great question! Yes I’m happy to share as dealing with high stakes situations
1) I’m very big on taking physical actions that empower oneself to feel confident and build energy fast. When we get stressed out, it could be caused by a variety of reasons such as fear of failure, or a variation of am I enough. Thats when the fear within the mind takes over, when you realize that physiology plays such an important role in the story that you tell yourself. Your physiology will change the story so taking empowered action is key to shifting your state
2) I’ve learned that the stressed is based on at times scarcity mindset of what can go wrong vs having an abundance mindset, its an important distinction between LIFE happening TO you vs LIFE happening FOR YOU. One is about victimhood where you can’t do anything because you give away the power vs taking ownership of your life, so what I do is do a meditation that I call RECHARGE FLOW, there are different ways
3) Do you know one quick and easy way to shift from stress to calm? I teach a 3 3 3 method, 3 minutes of focused breathing where you take deep breathes and you find flow in your breathing, another 3 minutes you continue to breathe and you focus on a BUBBLE of gratitude, think of 3 moments of gratitude and visualize your bubble expanding and growing, and the last 3 minutes of visualization of yourself already being successful
Too often, people give too much attention on what they fear, when you visualize yourself already a success, you can get more energy and confidence to focus on what you want vs what you don’t want
4) I coach and mentor people on how to do a pattern interrupt, when we go down that negative loop of fear or self-doubt, at times we do it because we get certainty from it, there is a payoff there of feeling certain even if that feeling doesn’t help you. So I have created a process that helps people remind themselves of their greatness, it uses visualization and anchoring and I call it the Sun Flow Within
Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?
Yes, happy to share as this is what I’m dedicating my life to, is to remind people of their greatness
1. Whenever our minds goes to scarcity and fear-based, one strategy is to reframe and ask the complete opposite, instead of what if I fail? ask how massively success can this be? And what do I have to do to increase the probability of it being a massive success
2. Fall in love with the journey and the progress, its not about the grind that makes one successful, its about falling in love with the grind and taking steps incrementally to grow everyday in every way and enjoy the process
3. Remind yourself of the when you were at your greatest in flow in your lifetime and bring that state back to whatever challenges you may be facing
4. Zoom out and look at the bigger zoomed out picture rather than get overly stressed by the small stuff, you gotta see what the big vision is and not get caught up in all the ways things can go wrong, you got to have faith in yourself and the progress that your making
Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.
Yes! I love these questions, I’m a big believer in all 3 three as I utilize them daily as part of my routine for peak performance. I’m actually creating ones to share on youtube and through my programs. I call them ARISE FLOW for when you first awake to prepare yourself for the day RECHARGE FLOW for in the middle of the day and NIGHT FLOW for you to relax, reflect and set intention for the next day, I utilize all 3 breathing, mediatitation and visualizations to help people optimize, I first developed them for myself to optimize FLOW state and am now sharing with people
Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?
Yes I’ve created some unique processes utilizing combination of NLP and anchoring to help people shift into an empowered focused state, one technique I call the CHAMP DANCE, growing up as a huge Lakers fan, I utilize celebration to help people rewire their emotions so that the pleasure of strong focus has them celebrating the progress
We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?
I have a daily routine of ARISE FLOW, RECHARGE FLOW and NIGHT FLOW that have been a great foundation of my success, I also teach the 7 identities framework to help people find balance and FLOW for success in all aspects of life
What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?
One can create rewiring of the brain and the meaning that they give to optimal performance and to stop bad habits, there are different tools that I’ve developed that can help people optimized, with the 7 identities the key is find out where you are the strongest in and where you are need to give more energy to grow in, to be completely honest with yourself, at times, people don’t want to face where they are not strong in, the awareness you give yourself and honesty is where you can grow the most, be completely honest with yourself so you can actually grow vs telling yourself half truths.
As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?
Yes, first is to be aware when you are most in flow, and to be aware of how you can replicate that state of flow in other areas of your life. For example, take notes on when you feel most at ease with creation and when you lose track of time, flow comes to you naturally, but when you can be aware of what are the conditions that you can set yourself up most for success, you can replicate that to other parts of your life. For example, at times, things come naturally and easily to you, how can you bring the conditions and elements from that state of flow from say your professional life to your personal life. You have everything with you to channel that flow state, to be in the zone where you achieve great success effortlessly and easily
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I believe when people are of contribution and abundance mindset, they can rise up above fear and doubt and make a difference in the world that we live in. If there is one movement that i would inspire, it would be a movement of contribution of making a real difference in the world, when we give without expectation, there is a gift in itself and we become stronger, wiser and more abundant to be able to share with people, a movement of giving from the heart, with the freedom to express oneself
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I am part of Tony Robbins Platinum family, and I would be honored to have lunch With Tony to understand one of the greatest giving minds of the last 43 years that he has served and contributed to mankind, I am very grateful to have him as a mentor as I’ve read so many of his books and programs that I feel privileged to share his teaching and wisdom with the world. If I were to be able to have a lunch with Tony Robbins, I’d share with him how I plan to dedicate my life to the empowerment of people and come up with a cocreation opportunity to support his admirable effort to feed 1 billion meals. I’ve already shared with him how I’m going to dedicate my first book proceeds to cocreating a school in a 3rd world country to dedicate to him in his honor for all the contribution that he has made for humanity
How can our readers further follow your work online?
We are creating seven days a week Youtube channel that empowers people to their greatness with amazing giveaways to make an impact on peoples lives. They can follow us on Instagram as Saje Flow and on our Youtube Channel as well on Saje Flow
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.