Former ESPN Anchor Develops 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge -Interview with James Swanwick



DDT: Could you give us some background information on who James Swanwick is?

James: James Swanwick is an Australian-American investor, entrepreneur, speaker, former sports center anchor on ESPN and host of James Swanwick show Podcast, he is the creator of 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge which helps people reduce or quit alcohol and he is a creator of Blue blocking glasses Swannies by Swanwick sleep, which will improve your sleep. Swanick has interviewed celebrities including Brad Pit, Angelina Jolie, George Clunie and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Little bit more background is that I’m an Australian who moved to America in 2002 and… yeah.


DDT: What got you interested into fitness and health?

James: I grew up playing rugby in Australia for many years, and then I played rugby in Los Angeles for a couple of years when I first moved here until about 2005. And from 2005 to 2010 I just let myself go. I didn’t really exercise, I didn’t really eat well, and I just kind of whatever. In 2010 I woke up with a hangover in Austin, Texas and decided I was going to quit alcohol for 30 days just to reboot. And after 30 days I lost 13 pounds of fat, it felt amazing, my skin got better, my relationships got better and that really inspired me just to start looking at my overall health. So I started eating paleo style, joined a gym, I started lifting weights, I ran the New York Marathon and I started becoming incredibly passionate about feeling amazing so I interviewed some of the top health experts around the world, I read all the top health books and started really focusing on how fitness and good nutrition could really make me happier and help me live an all around energy filled life.



DDT: You created the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge, can you tell us more about what this consist of and why you started this?

James: I was always a social drinker, I was never an alcoholic, I would drink a few times during a week, maybe I’d have a drink or two after work just to take the edge off, to relief my stress. But then on the weekends, I would probably drink a lot more. I’d be a good binge drinker, I might get drunk on Friday or Saturday night. I might have four, five or six beers watching football on a Sunday afternoon. It was never really drinking that much, not to excess, not like an alcoholic would drink, but it was always drinking enough as a social habit to make me sleep poorly, put on some weight, look tired, weathered, and just generally having a feeling of mediocrity.

In March 2010 I was in Austin, Texas at the South by Southwest festival, and I woke up with a hangover. I only had a couple of gin and tonics the night before, but for whatever reason I was just having a terrible headache and I remember I was in a National House of Pancakes, right next to the hotel I was staying in and I went there for a hangover breakfast. There were a lot of big fat American people sitting to the left and right of me eating all you can eat pancakes with maple syrup and whipped cream and I was just like, “this is disgusting.” So I said to myself I am just going to quit alcohol for 30 days to reboot and see how I feel. And that is just what I did, I stopped drinking for 30 days, and like I said, at the end of a 30th day, I lost 13 pounds of fat, my skin was better, I slept better, I attracted better relationships, I start focusing on all-around food and health. It really opened the door to a lot of self-development health and fitness in my life. And at the end of 30 days, I just felt amazing, and so I said just keep on going, and then I got to 40 days, to 60 days and I got to 90 days. At the 90th day, I realised my romantic relationships are considerably better, I was hanging out with a higher caliber of people I can still go out and party with friends and not drink alcohol. I lost more weight and was feeling more energetic which is amazing in every way so I just kept going and I got to one year.

At the end of a year, I said, You know what? What’s the point of going back, I’ll just keep on going, and so I have not drunk alcohol since, it’s been since March 11th, 2010, that was the last time I had a sip of alcohol. I haven’t had a sip of wine, I haven’t had a sip of beer, I haven’t touched alcohol since that day. And since then, I achieved a lifelong dream of hosting a television show, becoming a sports anchor on ESPN and I started three very successful businesses, I have a top ranking podcast, and amazing new friends. I am very energetic, I eat well, and life is just better without alcohol.

So, in 2015 I was thinking, well, you know what? People keep asking me about how I don’t drink alcohol, people are always asking me is it true you don’t drink? Tell me how you do it. And so I decided to create a program called the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge and I’d teach people just how to quit for 30 days, I’d help them through quitting. And it just took off in February of 2015. I have hundreds of people around the world going to my 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge program, successfully quit for 30 days, they lose weight, they look better, they feel better, and they break their habits of having a drink to relieve the stress at the end of a day. They save so much money because alcohol is very expensive, they tell me that their relationships are better with their kids, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, colleagues, and they make more money. It has really created this worldwide movement of not drinking, getting happier, getting healthier, feeling better, and sleeping better.



DDT: You are former ESPN anchor what made you venture off and seek entrepreneurship instead?

James: When I was working for ESPN I achieved my life long dream and I was doing that from 2010 to 2012. But there was always a salary ceiling at ESPN eventhough I was on TV and Z-grade level of fame, I was talking about sports the whole day. Sounds like a pretty amazing job right? But I was still working in Bristol, Connecticut where ESPN is based. And there is not much going on in Bristol, Connecticut, it is kind of social suicide. Plus there is always a salary ceiling, you are never going to make more money than you think you are worth. And you are never going be able to control how much money you will make. Someone else is determining your worth and that frustrated me, eventhough I loved the work, and you get to watch sports all day and interview people like Tom Brady, Magic Johnson, Derek Jeter, and Lebron James. But I knew I was going to make a certain number of six figures per year and I wanted to make hundreds and hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars. Not because I love money so much, but just because I wanted to control my worth, I wanted to control my value, and I wanted to be my own boss.

And at ESPN, someone was always the boss of me, a producer, an executive producer. I always had to be at work at a certain time, I didn’t like the idea of working for someone else. I wanted to work for myself and control my own finances and control my own destiny. So, I left ESPN in 2012 and ventured off to go and seek my own entrepreneurial journey. And, like I said, I created a Podcast in iTunes called The James Swanwick show, I created the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge, I then learned how to sell physical products on Amazon. I now sell a pair of Blue Blocking glasses called Swannies at and you wear these glasses about an hour and a half before you go to sleep to block artificial light and they help you just prepare your mind and body for bed. So people who are wearing these glasses are reporting to go to sleep faster, they have the stiffest sleep during the night, they wake up feeling a lot more refreshed. And that combined with the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge I guess you can say I turned into a health influencer or health expert and it all started with just giving up alcohol in 2010.


DDT: Can you tell us what your daily rituals and habits look like?

James: I wake up in the morning between 6:30 and 7am and I write into my gratitude diary for five minutes, it will ask me about the three things I am grateful for and I will just put my answers in there. I then sit down and read for at least 15 minutes any book that I have in front of me. I can speed read, so I can usually get through about half of a book or a third of a book in 15 minutes or I just kick in speed read. And then I will spend an hour doing the thing I really need to do to move my life forward, something probably most of the time I don’t wanna do, but I will do it first thing in the morning when the glucose levels in my brain are high and my will power is still pretty good. And when that is done, I go to the gym and I’ll workout. I love going to the gym and working out, I can’t really start my day unless I exercise so I go to the gym, I work out and I’ll come back and I will start my work day. I created a daily habit, a daily ritual of exercise, and I love to do it. One thing I forgot to mention is that I always leave my gym clothes at the end of my bed so when I wake up in the morning I see the visual of the gym clothes and then I just instinctively put them on, it is much easier for me to get out the door.


DDT: At times life throws a challenge at you to test your mental toughness as a person, what has been your biggest challenge in life and how did you overcome it?

James: In 2008 I had very successful PR company where I was working with a friend of mine, I had a corner office at Sunset Boulevard, had stuff all across America when the financial crisis hit. If you remember the financial crisis hit in 2008, it closed a lot of businesses, including mine. All of a sudden, clients who paid me monthly suddenly stopped paying, everything just shut down and I had to close that business. I ran away to Buenos Aires, Argentina to go and learn Spanish, eat steak and just chill out in Argentina, you know, lick my wounds from having a business and then alternately losing a business. But while I was there licking my wounds, I was also using my 6 months off to read books, to learn, to strategize, to figure out what it is that I really wanted to do with my life. So I turned the 6 months of licking wounds into strategizing how I was going to crush the next phase of my life, so by the time I moved back to Los Angeles in 2009 that was just the beginning of when I quit drinking alternately in 2010. when I started going into relationships thinking how to help other people versus how can other people help me. When I realised what it was that I wanted the next phase in my life to be, what people I wanted to spend time with, how I wanted to show off in the world. So, while it was tough with letting people go with the business, lose the money, and lose the office on Sunset Boulevard, it also inspired me to look at other areas in my life that I can improve on and get very clear on getting the next phase of my life.


DDT: What are your future plans and other areas of interest?

James: I intend to turn 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge into a worldwide movement, I want to inspire thousands of people from all around the world to quit alcohol for 30 days. The Swannies glasses, I really want to improve people’s sleep, inspire people to wear blue blocking glasses. I am focusing very much on relationships right now, romantic relationships, so I’m studying things of how to be a good father, how to be a good husband, how to really show up for the woman in my life. So I’m reading a lot of books on marriage and relationships, and been going to relationship counselors to talk about any insecurities that I might have around relationships. If you are not an expert in something, seek out a coach, seek out a mentor. For me at the moment, I am seeking many relationship coaches and mentors. And my goal really is to inspire people, inspire thousands of people around the world about their health and to be inspired by some of the world’s great mentors and coaches.


DDT: If your brand was gone, your youtube channel erased, your followers left and the only content you have is a piece of paper in front of you and you have to write three truths, it is your final message to the world, what would those three truths be?

James: Always be a man of your word, always do what you are saying you are going to do. Too many people say oh I am gonna do this, I’m gonna do that and they don’t do it. So they don’t trust themselves and other people don’t trust them. One of my truths is always do what you say you are going to do, so you can have trust in yourself and feel confident so others can have trust in you as well. The second one would be, travel and see the world, backpack, explore new cultures but while you do that learn finances, and listen to audio books. Listen about how to save money, or invest money, how to secure your financial future. Because I went backpacking and traveling around the world but I didn’t listen or learn about money making and planning for the future, so now at the age of 40 I feel like I am playing catch-up, I should have been listening about planning finance while I was backpacking and traveling the world.

So make sure to travel, and backpack and be curious but also learn and educate yourself with podcasts or trainings, audio trainings while you are doing it. And the third truth would be, it is what it is. There is no good, there is no bad, there is only what is. Thinking makes things good or bad, what that essentially means is things will happen to you that you pursuit to be bad, just get into the now, get into the moment and just go. There is no good and there is no bad, there is only what is. Our perception makes things good or bad. If you can understand that concept, maybe read the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and understand a little more then you will find that you will be able to handle even the worst types of challenges, or what you perceive to be the worst types of challenges.



DDT: What is your favorite place to travel?

James: Columbia! I lived in Bogota, Columbia for two years and it was a wonderful place, many attractive people, fun loving people, and good food. Columbia is a general very fun country.


DDT: Your favorite book?

James: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. It really helped me to understand the power of relationships.


DDT: What does James likes to do for fun? Please don’t hold back on us.

James: I like to go for a run in Bright Light canyons in Los Angeles in Hollywood Hills once a week, every Sunday, I like to go and watch a movie on a Friday night, that is a really nice way to chill out, I am very much a film buff. I like to eat seafood like oysters and lobster, I like to watch the Denver Bronco’s football games and I like to watch Tom Hopman’s English Premier League soccer games and I love morning exercise, especially weekend morning exercise, on a Saturday morning when you exercise at 7 or 8 and then you feel amazing for the rest of the day.


DDT: Where can our followers follow you and your work?


follow me on Snapchat: Jamesswanwick

Instagram: Jamesswanwick

Youtube: Jamesswanwick1

Twitter:  @jamesswanwick

Facebook: James Swanwick


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