Check out our interview with entrepreneur owner of Illuminati Vodka James Warwick.
Follow James at @james_warwick
Hi James, please tell us a little about you?
I am 29. I was born in the UK, and grew up in Bristol and Sydney, Australia.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Ambitious, Unbreakable
What’s your background?
I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, preferring to work for myself and control my own future, rather than work for someone else‘s dream. I studied Business Studies and also ran my own clothing brand while studying. This combination gave me the knowledge to succeed in business.
When did you start in the business?
I started my vodka brand 2 years ago. Before this I was running a bar in Warsaw, Poland. I sold my shares in the bar and decided that I wanted to build a vodka brand, having gained valuable industry experience.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The Way of the Wolf – Jordan Belfort
What is the key to your success?
Never giving up. I have had countless obstacles, people trying to take me down through jealousy and hate. Every time I have encountered any such challenge I have become stronger because of it
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
Meeting new people, the opportunity to network and talk about new ideas and creating plans with like minded individuals. What is not so immediately rewarding is the amount of hard work that goes in behind the scenes, however this is the difference between being successful or not.
Now what about your brand “illuminati vodka”?
My vodka is made from Rye and distilled 7 times. It is the best quality vodka on the market. I have deliberately positioned this brand to be ultra exclusive, as I want to keep this as a special product.
How challenging has been to have an alcohol brand in a very competitive market?
There have been challenges, for sure. The biggest challenge is obviously having the contacts to grow faster. Everywhere I have sold the vodka has had huge popularity and customers have unanimously said it is their favourite vodka.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Don’t become to absorbed by the short term success. Keep focused, keep planning for the future and always keep your plans a few steps ahead of where you are currently at, to avoid becoming complacent
What is different from your brand to other vodka brands?
My vodka is the best quality possible, which is rare with most vodkas. The bottle is matte black and the logo lights up with a waterproof LED light. It stands out in nightlife and attracts the attention of all around it.
Branding and identity are key. How do you advertise your business?
So far I have been doing very niche direct advertising to a very exclusive crowd. Over the coming months I plan to significantly expand the market and make partnerships to take the brand to the next level.
You have $100k, where do you put it?
Stock and hosting exclusive Illuminati Vodka events. I am launching private villa parties in Marbella which have paid tickets, and give a free bottle of vodka per ticket. These events will be very profitable, and also creating a lot of marketing amongst a very elite crowd. I wish to expand on these events and move into Miami and Asia.
What other projects are you working on?
I own an online trading company called 33 Trading. We educate people how to trade Gold, Cryptocurrency and Forex. I have always held the belief that everyone should be in control of their own financial future, and never have to rely on employment for their income. This is the core reason for me starting this company, to help other young entrepreneurs become financially independent.
What is your own definition of happiness?
For me I am happy when I am achieving and exceeding my goals in life, leading a life that others think is impossible and creating a great legacy are my goals.
What is next for James Warwick in 2020?
I will be focussed 100% on creating very strong foundations for my businesses to grow and become dominant in their fields. I have had to rethink my strategies with coronavirus, but this has given me a vision to make my business much stronger.
Something people don’t know about you?
I have several charitable causes that are important to me, but I will never share that or show off about it. I believe giving must be about more than ego.
Who was your role model as a child?
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Gary Vaynerchuk. I love his direct way of thinking and I would love to sit down with him and discuss life.
What is your favorite healthy food?
At the moment my most common food is chicken, rice and broccoli.
And your favorite cheat food?
Either Papa John’s or a cheeseburger from a good restaurant.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If they display a fake personality or gold-digger tendencies. I have had experience dating such types and it is very unattractive, despite how they look visually. I need a partner who has the same drive and intelligence as me, and most importantly someone who wants to be a team and build a future together.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
I see my vodka brand being at a level where it is dominating its niche. I see my trading company running itself without the need for my input. For myself I would ideally like to be with the right person to have a family with, and essentially my businesses must allow me the freedom to give time to that.
What music do you like?
It depends on my mood. I like rap and hip-hop music a lot of the time, for gym I prefer EDM and for parties I usually go with Techno.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, more than one.
What do you like to watch on Tv?
Honestly I very rarely watch TV, I believe it is numbing the mind. I do occasionally like to watch a good movie though
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Phone, wallet, keys.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Relaxing on the beach in Marbella.
What do you think of Social Media?
It is a great tool when used in the right way, however too many people get obsessed and depressed by other peoples lives. People need to remember to live the life they want, and use social media for inspiration, not negativity.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars” Martin Luther King Jr.
Actor/Actress: Leonardo DiCaprio
Drink: Illuminati Vodka
Movie: Pulp Fiction
Sport Team: Southampton FC
Song: XXXTentacion – Arms Around You